The Singapore government announced that it will reduce the annual growth rate for cars and motorcycles to zero from 0.25% starting in February 2018.
“In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network,” the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement. Roads already account for 12% of the city-state’s total land area of 719.1 sq. km, the agency said.
The government is promoting mass transportation to address the city-state residents’ mobility needs, instead of private vehicle ownership. It will invest SGD28 billion (USD20.56 billion) on rail and bus transportation over the next five years, the agency said.
Singapore requires car owners to buy permits or certificates of entitlement for the privilege of owning a car for 10 years. These permits are auctioned monthly by the government. At the latest auction, the permit for a compact car went for SGD41,617 (USD30,561), making Singapore one of the world’s most expensive countries to own a vehicle.
The LTA said the zero-growth target will affect vehicles in Categories A, B and D under its permit system, which include cars and motorcycles. The existing vehicle growth rate of goods vehicles and buses will remain at 0.25% per annum until March 2021, to provide businesses time to make their operations more efficient, subsequently, reducing the number of commercial vehicles they will need to operate.
The limit on vehicle growth rate will be reviewed again in 2020, the government said.