The Straits Times
Published on Feb 09, 2013

Make long-term car usage costlier than ownership


IT IS encouraging to see many letters discussing the certificate of entitlement (COE) and Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) systems.

By now, the Land Transport Authority should have gleaned sufficient information from the ERP gantries on the traffic volume along certain roads over different time periods.

From there, it could set the vehicle quota to alleviate the growing problem of road congestion.

Owners of non-weekend cars should be charged a higher flat fee when they pass ERP gantries.

In return, they will no longer need to make a one-off payment for the COE.

The car quota should be further segmented in this manner: regional cars (for travel within 15km from the point of origin), odd- or even-day cars, weekend cars and all-season cars.

An owner using his car outside his category's "entitlement" will need to pay a premium.

This system would ensure that, in the long term, it becomes more expensive to use a car than to own one.

James Poh Ching Ping