Friday, September 21, 2007

More Cars on Singapore Roads

Picture taken from Traffic Camera section of One Motoring website.

Those who drive or often take taxis in Singapore will notice that nowadays, there are more cars on Singapore roads compared to two or three years ago. Last year, I would only take less than 15 minutes to reach my home in around Upper Bukit Timah area, from my office in around Science Park area, during evening peak hours. Now, every evening I would need at least 30 minutes, due to congestion along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Last time, the expressway was usually congested only if there's an accident, but nowadays, built-up traffic during evening peak time period is now an every day matter.

And now, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will install more Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries all over Singapore, to control the traffic flow. I don't understand why they chose to do this instead of limiting the number of cars on the roads. They can actually do so by reducing the number of quota available for Certification of Entitlement (COE) bidding. Past two years were actually a good time for LTA to review and reduce the quota since there were many cars being scrapped/de-registered. But instead, they chose to use that reason as an excuse to increase the quota, and as a result, COE plunged to a very low rate in the past couple of years. At the end, more people are buying cars, resulting in more crowded Singapore roads.

They should actually reduce the quota much earlier, say one or two years ago, to control the number of cars, instead of installing more ERP gantries now to control the traffic flow. It's not fair to the road users, especially to those who purchased their cars when the COE was on a much higher level (2004 and earlier). They paid higher COE premium at that time, expecting that they will enjoy smooth flow of traffic due to the limited number of cars on the roads. However, they ended up having to share more crowded roads with newer car owners who paid lesser COE premiums, and now they will also have to share the burden to pay for additional ERP charges.

OK, I admit that my opinion might be subjective since I bought my car in 2003, while the COE rate was above $30k. But don't you agree with me that the government should limit the number of cars in the first place, rather than letting people to buy more cars and perform "damage control" by charging them to use the roads?


Dodol Surodol said...

Jawabannya kayaknya gampang aja deh, Ndra: pemerintah kan jadi lebih kaya :)

Andri Setiawan said...

sekarang waktu tempuh MRT sama mobil hampir sama ya om Indra :D

berbahagialah pengguna MRT seperti saya :))