Embrace personal mobility devices as a transport solution

Singapore must change its mindset about personal mobility devices, such as e-scooters.

These innovative modes of transport have proven themselves efficient and useful.

This trend will surely continue and the vehicles themselves will improve along with greater use.

With a range of 30km per charge, they serve a functional need for personal mobility - efficiently and quietly.

They are portable and require no space for parking.

Unfortunately, they are seen as a nuisance in Singapore.

They are banned, or heavily restricted, on public roads and walkways.

These innovative modes of transport have proven themselves efficient and useful...

With a range of 30km per charge, they serve a functional need for personal mobility - efficiently and quietly.

But this need not be the case. Instead of seeing them as a problem, we should see them as a solution and embrace this new technology to mitigate our transport problems.

Of course, licensing, insurance and mandatory classes should be required, to ensure safe and proper road usage.

This will help develop a new industry, create jobs and generate more revenue, while providing a sense of freedom for travellers and alleviating road congestion.

We can wait for other countries to champion this opportunity, or we can be the first to demonstrate how innovative we can be.

Young Chuan Hwa

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'Embrace personal mobility devices as a transport solution'. Print Edition | Subscribe