SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Monday (Oct 23) that Singapore’s vehicle growth rate will be cut to zero, down from the current 0.25 per cent, for all private passenger cars (Categories A and B) and motorcycles (Category D).
The change will take effect from February next year as the Government continues to steer Singapore towards becoming a car-lite society.
The growth rate for goods vehicles and buses in Category C will remain unchanged at 0.25 per cent until the first quarter of 2021.
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.
LTA said in a news release that the move was “in view of Singapore’s land constraints and our commitment to continually improve our public transport system”.
“Twelve per cent of Singapore’s total land area is taken up by roads," it added. "In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network."
LTA added that the Government would continue to invest S$20 billion in new rail infrastructure, S$4 billion to renew and expand rail operating assets and S$4 billion in bus contracting subsidies over the next five years.
The authority last adjusted the vehicle growth rate in October 2014, when it halved the vehicle growth rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent per annum, for the period from February 2015 to January 2018.
It will review the rate again in 2020 after the adjustment announced on Monday.
LTA added that the adjustment to the vehicle growth rate to zero is not expected to significantly affect the supply of Certificate of Entitlements (COEs), as the COE quota is determined largely by the number of vehicle de-registrations.
Meanwhile, the COE quota for the next three months from November 2017 to January 2018 will be 25,913, based on the existing 0.25 per cent vehicle growth rate.
The Government has been mulling over a zero vehicle growth rate for some time.
In March 2015, then-Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said in her Committee of Supply speech it was likely that the vehicle population growth rate would need to be lowered to zero per cent in the future.
Mrs Teo had noted that as long as Singaporeans’ incomes continue to grow, “it is unlikely for private car ownership to be a low-cost transport option.”