Private vehicle growth in Singapore to stop

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Authorities in Singapore have announced a plan to limit the number of private cars on its streets t0 the number now in use starting in 2018.

However, it now says it will lower the vehicle growth rate from the current 0.25% per year to 0% from February.

LTA says that this is to provide businesses more time to improve the efficiency of their logistics operations and reduce the number of commercial vehicles that they require.

The body noted that the change is necessary as Singapore faces "limited scope for further expansion of the road network", with roads making up 12% of Singapore's land area.

Instead, Singapore is focusing on public transit-S$20 billion ($14.7 billion) for new railway infrastructure and $2.9 billion on upgrading existing train lines, as well as another $2.9 billion on bus contract subsidies over the next five years, according to LTA.

Pointedly, Singapore tightly controls its vehicle population by setting an annual growth rate and through a system of bidding for the right to own and use a vehicle for a limited number of years.

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These are expensive. And the bigger your vehicle, the more the certificate will cost.

An entry-level Toyota Corolla Altis sedan with a 96kW 1.6-litre engine costs S$104,988 ($98,705) inclusive of taxes and COE.

Singapore is already one of the most expensive places to purchase a personal vehicle in part because of a requirement that vehicle owners acquire a "certificate of entitlement", which is valid for only 10 years and has an average price tag of US$37,000.

Despite the government's policies, there are almost one million vehicles on Singapore's roads. Out of that number 318,081 were passenger cars with engines up to 1.6 litres or with less than 97kW of power.

Thanks to the high cost of vehicles, Singapore has mostly avoided the crushing traffic jams that are common in other Asian cities and authorities want to keep things that way.