LTA cuts vehicle growth rate to zero, public transport to step up

SMRT, SBS, it's all on you bros.

Sulaiman Daud | October 23, 2017, 05:44 PM

Come Feb. 2018, there will be no new cars and motorcycles in Singapore. Or rather there will be, but only if others are de-registered first.

On Oct 23., LTA announced in a press release that it would cut the growth rate from next Feb. for COE categories A, B and D from 0.25% to zero until at least 2020.

Category A refers to cars up to 1,600 CC and 97 KW, while Category B is for cars above 1,600 CC or 97 KW. Category D's for motorcycles.

LTA did leave the growth rate for Category C (goods vehicles and buses) at 0.25%. They said it was to:

"...provide businesses more time to improve the efficiency of their logistics operations and reduce the number of commercial vehicles that they require."

But LTA doesn't expect this move to "significantly affect the supply of COEs", as the quota is determined by the number of vehicle de-registrations. The next quota announcement for a new bidding period will be made in Jan. 2018.

The last time LTA did something similar was in Oct. 2014, when they cut the vehicle growth rate from 0.5% to 0.25% for the period between Feb 2015 and Feb. 2018.


Public transport to pick up the slack

This move was foreshadowed in then-Senior Minister for Transport Josephine Teo's speech during the 2015 Committee of Supply Debate:

"We have lowered the vehicle population growth rate from 0.5% per annum to 0.25% per annum, and will likely need to lower this to zero per cent in the future. As long as incomes continue to grow, it is unlikely for private car ownership to be a low-cost transport option."

She wasn't kidding. To mitigate this, LTA also announced that the government would be investing a whopping $28 billion in public transport over the next five years.

  • $20 billion in new rail infrastructure
  • $4 billion to upgrade existing rail assets
  • $4 billion in bus contracting subsidies

LTA said in the press release that 12% of Singapore's land is already occupied by roads and warned there was "limited scope" for further expansion of the road network.

From the looks of it, car ownership is likely to be an elusive dream for us millennials. Mothership called it long ago.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Gif from Tumblr.[/caption]

Top image from Shelf Heroes.