Singapore: Singapore has seen a decline in car ownership, with about one-third of households owning cars in the city-state, down from 40 percent in 2013, as the government moves to transform the country into a car-light society. a senior minister said on Monday.
The government is also aiming for 75 percent of peak-hour journeys to be made by public transport by 2030 through the expansion of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) network, up from the current 64 percent, The Straits Times reported.
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Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat told Parliament that it was “not sustainable” for the number of vehicles in Singapore to continue to increase, with “one million vehicles on the road now, including more than 650,000 cars”.
Singapore has a population of 5.92 million and the main economically prosperous city island has an area of 710 km2.
Chee said about one-third of Singaporean households and permanent residents own cars, down from 40 percent in 2013, as the government pushes the country towards a car society.
The minister also reiterated the need for a zero-vehicle growth policy to manage traffic congestion in land-scarce Singapore.
As part of the zero growth policy, the number of Certificates of Entitlement (COE) available for new car purchase offers is based on the number of deregistered vehicles.
In response to questions, Chee said the government’s car strategy focuses on providing a mass public transport system, in addition to an affordable, inclusive and sustainable land transport system.
Roads now take up about 12 percent of Singapore’s total land, while the land transport system accounts for about 15 percent of Singapore’s total domestic carbon emissions, he pointed out.
In tandem with the policy of zero vehicle growth, the government has taken other measures to increase the use of less carbon intensive modes of transport.
Riding an electric bus produces only 30 percent of the carbon emission levels produced by an internal combustion engine vehicle,while riding the MRT drops to just 10 percent compared to an internal combustion engine vehicle, Chee said..
So the government provides more than SGD 2 billion in annual public transport subsidies, which means a subsidy of more than SGD 1 per trip.
With a 40% expansion of the public transport network through a further 100km increase in the rail network by 2035, 80 ppercentof households will be within a 10-minute walk of an MRT or LRT (light rapid transit) station. decade, up from the current 70 percent, Chee said.
In addition to meeting the needs of non-car commuters, first and llast-mileoptions – such as walking and cycling – and access to point-to-point services offered by taxis, private hire vehicles ,and car sharing vehicles. continue to improve, he said.
Image Source: Men’s Journal