The journey towards less congested roads

It would appear that things are looking up for road users in Singapore (S'pore's road congestion improves: Index; March 23, 2016).

Last year, Singapore was ranked 45th in a global index of 174 cities that measures the severity of traffic congestion on roads during peak hours.

This year, we showed an improvement, dropping to 55th place. Topping this list of cities with the worst jams was Mexico City, followed by Bangkok, Jakarta and Chongqing.

This steady improvement is due to the multi-pronged approach Singapore has undertaken as well as innovation.

The certificate of entitlement (COE) system has been the blunt dictator of the quantity of cars on the roads.

Used in tandem with electronic road pricing (ERP), the distribution of road usage has been relatively well managed.

Authority over vehicle supply coupled with an equitable distribution of road usage has been the backbone of our road management.

Additionally, with the continued enhancement of our public transport system, people have been given more options for their commute.

Carpooling initiatives such as Uber-Pool and Grab-share are great innovations which have further curbed congestion on our roads.

Perhaps the Government could do more to encourage these ride-sharing initiatives to develop more economical commuting options during peak hours to reduce congestion.

By increasing the proportion of shared rides on the roads, the amount of road usage would be reduced further.

Justin Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2017, with the headline 'The journey towards less congested roads'. Print Edition | Subscribe