Dear future me in 2041,
As I am writing this letter to you from the year 2021, the world is still reeling from the impact of Covid-19 but I’m heartened to see that Singapore has set its sights on a greener future.
Or rather, a cooler (pun intended) reality that you would be living in, thanks to the Singapore Green Plan.
Where you are in 2041, sounds of loud exhausts and engine roars would have been replaced with the quiet whizzing of electric motors. You must be loving the peaceful, quiet rides on electric buses.
Take a deep breath as you walk down the street, I’d imagine the air is much fresher and possibly cooler.
With more dedicated paths for cyclists, do you see more people using the cycling network?
The cleaner environment that you live in takes years to come to fruition, for people to adjust to change and for necessary infrastructure to be ready.
A key area of green transport that the government is focusing on now is to nudge car owners to switch to cleaner energy vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), for which a slew of policies has been introduced in recent years.
Potential electric car buyers can save up to S$45,000 if they make the switch by tapping on rebates such as EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) and the enhanced Vehicular Emissions Schemes (VES).
Furthermore, all towns are expected to be EV-Ready towns by the 2030s and the number of EV charging points will double from 28,000 to 60,000 by 2030. I can only imagine how different car parks look for you, and how convenient it is to charge EVs in Singapore.
With the rebates and necessary infrastructure installed, all newly-registered cars should also be cleaner-energy models from 2030 as part of this green transition. These can be electric, hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell cars.
Do you see more EVs on the roads? I really hope the incentives and nationwide deployment of EV charging points will encourage more drivers to switch to EVs.
It’s not just private vehicles, the government also planned for all our public buses to be powered with cleaner energy by 2040.
However, like what the current Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung had said, “EVs are at most a second-best solution, the cleanest and most sustainable way to move is still by mass public transport – buses and trains.”
To that end, I am sure getting around places via public transport, walking and cycling, is much easier for you in a well-connected Singapore. By 2041, the Circle Line will finally be a closed circle and the Jurong Region Line, Thomson-East Coast Line as well as the Cross-Island Line would be opened too. Hopefully more people are loving their ride on public transport. (Remember the jingle?)
With so many public transport options available, hope you have more time to sleep in and get ready for meet-ups, so no more excuses for being late!
In the coming years, more road spaces will also be converted to footpaths, cycling paths and bus lanes. The islandwide cycling network is expected to expand from 460 km today to around 1,300 km by 2030. Perhaps even more kilometres of cycling paths by 2041?
With the improvements made, it should take not more than 20 minutes to get to key amenities in your neighbourhood and not more than 45 minutes to get from home to anywhere else in most cases.
Commuting can be a good way to wind down after a long day at work as you take in the sights and scene on the move. Hope the smoother journey back home on public transport helps you relax during stressful times!
With this transformation in the transport scene, has it been easier for you to convince those friends who drive to use public transport instead?
Regardless, I hope this letter will remind you that while the road towards a carbon-lite nation is never fast and easy, there are little milestones like these that are worth keeping in mind.
I’m sure 2041 Singapore will have more exciting plans in-store. I can’t wait.
Top image via Unsplash by Tobi Law.
The writer of this sponsored article by LTA wishes to time travel to 2041 to see how her future self reacts to this letter while reading it at home in an EV-ready town.