Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced on Monday that in view of Singapore’s land constraints and its commitment to continually improve Singapore's public transport system, it will lower the vehicle growth rate from the current 0.25 percent per annum to 0 percent with effect from February 2018 for COE Categories A, B and D.
It added that the existing vehicle growth rate of 0.25 percent per annum for Category C will remain unchanged until first quarter of 2021 to provide businesses more time to improve the efficiency of their logistics operations and reduce the number of commercial vehicles that they require.
LTA stated that today, 12 percent of Singapore’s total land area is taken up by roads. In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network.
It stressed that it will continue to improve Singapore's public transport system. "Over the past six years, we have expanded our rail network significantly, growing the rail network length by 30% and adding a total of 41 new stations. Through the $1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme and Bus Contracting Model, we have added new routes and injected greater capacity into the bus network while raising service levels," LTA stated.
"The Government will continue to invest $20 billion in new rail infrastructure, $4 billion to renew, upgrade and expand rail operating assets, and another $4 billion in bus contracting subsidies over the next five years to improve public transport," it added.
LTA then stated that the vehicle growth rate will be reviewed again in 2020.
Many of online readers commented that the authority needs to make sure that the trains breakdown will never happen again.
Angeline Chuen wrote, "Before the cut, make sure the public transport is Super efficient and not wasting consumers traveling time and money first. Without an efficient and effective public transportation and system, don’t ask the people not to drive."
Shirley Lee wrote, "The breakdown rates of public transport(trains) ought to be zero peg to the same set target."
JiaLing wrote, "In order to facilitate this, we must first get a world-class transport system. Then people will be convinced to advance to a car-lite society. It is more than ever-increasing COE prices, road taxes, fuel prices etc. The authorities need to work more closely together with the public transport operators and pull their socks up. NO cutting slacks on implementation, maintenance, repairs, materials - all these require close scrutiny of the vendors. Cost is not everything, take into consideration goodwill of the government, the confidence of people in the authorities. You will get an equal formula there."
Andrew Lim wrote, "To do that, they must ensure our train system is able to handle the increase in ridership.
No point cutting the vehicle growth rate to zero, if the train system keeps breaking down."
RebeccaNg wrote, "PAP is just out of touch with the reality! Try taking MRT to Orchard during the weekend, you just want to stay at home and not going anywhere. By cutting vehicle growth rate to zero will just overloading the public transport. In the end, the MRT will just constantly break down."
Shawn Goh wrote, "If the transport system especially the different train lines is still not reliable then it is not justifiable for LTA to cut vehicle growth. Pushing blame to aging train system that SMRT has inherited is not correct, finding ways to get a scapegoat doesn’t speak well for an organisation."
Yril Tan wrote, " Not the right time with the public transport woes having to accommodate too many people. The government should go for zero growth only when the public transport is stable enough to take the population. Our “5 million gallons bucket” has already overflowed and yet to control small buckets. Simple mathematics."
James Fong wrote, "Your public transport system sucks! And u still want to control vehicle growth rate. If we all cycle to work, then u impose ERP on bicycles?"
Some commented that the Government needs to control the population growth of the country, instead of the matter.
Ng Ek Ngee wrote, "LOL! Cut due to land constraints, yet still go-ahead with 7 million Singapore population."
Larry Chua wrote, "Let's aim for zero population growth too.
Foreign cars entering Singapore also needs to be capped. Kindly removed the free entry from 5 pm for foreign cars."
Some asked the government not to ban the motorcycles.
Mag Kan wrote, "Motorcycles are the main transport for most low-income families to get to work, so by doing this they are disrupting the livelihood of many as well.
Why don’t the ministers set an example by getting rid of their own cars and going public first?"
Joel Yeo wrote, "Why target the motorcycles riders? They are only but a small and insignificant population on the road, if anything, reduce a number of cars and motorcycles coming across the causeway."
Mr Tang Chor Teng asked the Government to come up with an all rounded spaghetti.
He wrote, "The issue of transportation in Singapore has been long winded and frustrating. Don't simply give us pieces of policy changes here and there, that does not give us an overview of how the government will execute a concrete strategy to achieving a car-lite city. Such policy changes without substantial effort to deal with other areas of concerns merely reflect the lack of fore-vision, concern for the welfare of its people and ability to develop, plan and execute an all rounded strategy."
Some stated that there is too much private-hire car,
Mr Darrel Teo wrote, "Meanwhile, Malaysian vehicles are not affected. You want to cut to zero, make sure you banned all foreign private car and motorcycles coming into Singapore for work"
Some asked the Government and its officials to set the example.
Michael Lee wrote, "Before the cut, make sure all minister do not own cars to move to a car-lite society. A sad saying goes lead by example so I guess they should lead by example?"
Kwang Hong Tan wrote, "Get all PA member including all the big shot sell their cars and take public transport first. Set an example before implement certain measure."
Airis AB wrote, "The first public initiative should be spearheaded by the government. Lead by example!
All of you can take public transport to work as of January 2018! Since all of you are talented and capable there should not be any hesitation nor fear for that matter with regards to safety and efficiency taking public transports. Also limit two vehicles per family/household in the spirit of equality since our public transport system is so dependable. How about that? Don't say we only know how to complain but unable to come up feasible solutions, ok?"
Mr Alvin Teo pointed to the weakness on this implementation. He wrote, ""LTA said this is to provide businesses more time to improve the efficiency of their logistics operations and reduce the number of commercial vehicles they require." You mean previously need 3 lorries to deliver 50 items, after 2021, only 1 lorry is needed to deliver 50 items?"
Mr Max Tan noted that the rich have more than one car which they never sleep on. He wrote, "Government should monitor the vehicle on the road. Many rich people buy a few cars. Hardly drive them. Too rich. Non-commercial should be controlled before you think about "no increase". Please be efficient."
Commenters such as Mr Lahh Tay, agreed with LTA's stance. He wrote, "Less cars better la. Car lite. Car is depreciating asset. Save money can buy other stuff. Now grab or uber cheaper than driving car."