The Sunday Times says

Spelling out a 'car-lite' future

A number of strategic plans have been mapped to reduce dependence on personal vehicles for transport, particularly cars. The Land Transport Master Plan 2013 flagged that a more liveable city-state would be possible only if private car ownership and usage policies are reviewed. Smart Mobility 2030 unveiled a year later - a masterplan to develop intelligent transport systems - seeks to reduce the dependence on driving itself, by harnessing a myriad of sensors, data on destinations and traffic, and advanced software to make autonomous vehicles commonplace here.

Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 placed the concept of a "car-lite Singapore" within the context of a shift to a denser rail network, extensive bus routes, roving electric vehicles, driverless cars, vehicle-sharing services, and more cycling and walking options. Though much work is still in progress, it's useful to keep fleshing out a car-lite future to keep people's expectations in sync with the strategic plans being executed painstakingly.

This will promote greater appreciation of the urban mobility model to be developed for the Jurong Lake District. The aspiration is for 80 per cent of all trips to and from the district to be made via public transport. Mobility within the area will be enhanced - for example, the pedestrian connector to move from building to building, dubbed J-Walk, will be extended across the entire district.

Similarly, there are moves to make new private residential areas car-lite and people-friendly. Parking spaces in Kampong Bugis, for example, will be reduced. As more new precincts like Holland Plain and Bayshore aim to become car-lite and green, motorists should be made aware of what they will get for giving up their cars. For instance, what are the new uses of spaces that could have been allocated for roads and carparks? Involving people in the decision-making process will help build support for the car-lite vision.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'Spelling out a 'car-lite' future'. Print Edition | Subscribe