Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 03/13/2013 22:50 | By Channel NewsAsia

Private Car Rental Scheme may be liberalised

Private Car Rental Scheme may be liberalised

Private Car Rental Scheme may be liberalised

SINGAPORE: Car owners may have an easier time renting out their vehicles in future.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will study if the Private Car Rental Scheme can be liberalised.

LTA is also looking at other ways to ease the private transport situation as vehicle ownership aspirations remain.

Forty—five per cent of Singapore households owned a car in 2012, compared to 38 per cent in 2004.

With Singapore’s land constraints, the government said the growing trend in car ownership is simply not sustainable.

If the Private Car Rental Scheme can be made more flexible, it means Singaporeans will have easier access to renting private transport, without needing to own a car.

The aim is to increase the convenience of door—to—door options to get around for family outings, or ferrying elderly parents, for example.

While this is one way to manage the private transport situation, the government said the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) system of allocating vehicle ownership will stay.

Authorities are doing a longer term study on the practicality of putting aside some COE supply from the upcoming peak expected in the next few years, for the future when supply becomes tighter.

Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair is one of many who has noted the difficulty in coming up with a fair system to allocate vehicle ownership.

"Most people accept the logic in restricting the number of cars on the road in the need to keep traffic smoothing smoothly but no one likes to pay more. As a result, we have heard many suggestions on how to change the system, usually with a view to keeping COE prices low for some," said Mr Hri Kumar.

Transport Minister Lui Tuk Yew said the COE system is by no means perfect, but is preferable to a balloting system.

"It is a difficult undertaking to try to allocate cars based on needs, such as to raise a family, to ferry elderly family members or for work purposes. Setting aside the likely problems with implementation and loopholes, I think it would be extremely difficult for the government to decide fairly who deserves and needs a car, and who does not," said Mr Lui.

To make better use scarce land space for roads, the Kranji and Pan Island Expressway stretch connecting the residential areas in the north to jobs in the west may be where a ’reversible flow’ scheme will be implemented.

This scheme allows roads heading one way to head the other direction according to demands of peak period travel.

— CNA/fa

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