Zero growth rate for cars to remain till Jan 2022

Given the uncertainty over how travel demand patterns will evolve amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has said it will continue with its current cap on vehicle population growth.

The current growth cap - at 0.25 per cent a year for commercial vehicles and 0 per cent for all others - was due to expire by the end of this certificate of entitlement (COE) quota year next January. But the LTA said yesterday that it will continue with the growth cap until Jan 31, 2022.

It said the growth cap ensures that "our vehicle population growth is tempered and supports the development of a sustainable and liveable environment for Singaporeans".

It added that the extension of the current vehicle growth cap will not have any impact on the supply of COEs, as the COE quota is determined largely by the number of vehicle deregistrations.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Facebook that Covid-19 has "changed the way we travel, as more of us work from home, participate in online learning, and generally stay at home more".

He noted that "more have taken to healthy modes such as cycling".

The minister said "we should take the opportunity to reduce unnecessary trips, stagger working hours, and develop a more sustainable land transport system for Singaporeans - one that is greener, smarter and more inclusive in meeting the diverse needs of commuters".

He said the LTA will review the vehicle growth rate next year, with the new cap to take effect from February 2022.

"I hope this also provides some stability and assurance for vehicle owners, businesses and dealers in the months ahead," he added.

The vehicle growth cap was at 3 per cent a year in the first half of the 30-year-old COE system.

Thereafter, it was gradually revised downwards, until it reached 0 per cent for cars two years ago.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2020, with the headline 'Zero growth rate for cars to remain till Jan 2022'. Print Edition | Subscribe