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Old 4th January 2014, 12:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Seeing red

Seeing red



Christopher Tan | Torque | Friday, Jan 3, 2014
*

If car ownership is an addiction (and there's plenty of evidence to show that it is), then any push for motorists to hang up their keys for a transit card is akin to rolling a boulder uphill. Making it even harder is the fact that a car is an "inflated" status symbol in Singapore, no thanks to the ransom each private carriage commands.

So, how does the Government encourage lower reliance on passenger cars and higher public transport ridership? One way is to build more MRT lines. But with the rail expansion and improvement programmes having been delayed and now chugging along as quickly as is feasible, it will be some time before Singaporeans find commuting by train half as convenient and as comfortable as it is by car.

Taxis are also an effective car substitute. But with the fragmented state of the cab industry, its convoluted fare structure and relative poor service standards, most people will continue to drive their own cars if they can do so.

Does that mean Singapore will have to continue to live with the worsening tension between motorisation and road congestion, and between those who can afford to own a car and those who can't?

Of course, the ideal situation would be for a public transport system so superior that even Mercedes and BMW owners opt to hop on a train or bus for most of their trips. But until then, there is a middle ground Singapore can steer towards - one that involves red-plated cars.

Yes, the off-peak car (OPC) scheme has been with us for over two decades now. But it has not been optimised to achieve its goals - constrained by technology (or the lack of it) and the notion that car tax rebates should be offset by smaller PARF benefits.

To improve the scheme, tax breaks must be tangible - not the current system that "recoups" part of the $17,000 upfront ARF rebate by reducing the vehicle's scrap value at the end of its statutory lifespan. The Government must recognise the real but hard-to-quantify social and economic benefits of having these cars off the road during peak periods, and that these benefits are real, and therefore worth more than the sum of parts used to calculate the current off-peak car rebate.

Next, the latest available technologies should be employed to allow these cars to be driven more - on roads that are relatively uncongested, during times when they are uncongested. These may include outer-fringe networks, and times such as 3pm to 4pm or 11am to12pm. And if owners want to drive during peak periods, they must pay a punitive fee.

- See more at: http://ride.asiaone.com/news/general....egokwQYE.dpuf

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Old 4th January 2014, 06:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Seeing red

Hmm... The take up rate for OPC cars is low. It's not worth it since the COE is high.

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Old 4th January 2014, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Seeing red

With the COE being so high.. The $17k rebate given is not so significant anymore..

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