This is not cool

How multiple-car ownership COE surcharge could work

Over 70% of people polled by the Land Transport Authority are in favour of imposing a surcharge on multiple-car ownership. The LTA itself was open to the idea, and specifically invited suggestions for this in the public consultation. It was only the difficulty of implementation that deterred it from doing so. As The Straits Times reported, experts agreed that there is no easy way. Personally, I belong to the 30% who are not keen on the idea. Not because I own multiple cars or intend to, but because it means imposing more rules to fix a COE system that is…


Middle-lane hogging and undertaking: Are you guilty?

How well do you know your highway code? Hopefully better than I do. We are all aware that we shouldn’t hog the outermost lane when driving on the expressway, because technically it is only for overtaking. But how many of us realise that this rule doesn’t just apply to the right lane, but to the middle lane of a three-lane expressway too? In fact, as I found out recently here in the UK, it is against the law to stay in the middle lane when the left lane is available, even if you are driving at a proper speed. Apparently,…

More Zipcar locations than Starbucks

Besides free travel on MRT, let’s look at car clubs

What’s not to like about free travel on the MRT? I must admit that when I first read the suggestion from MP Janil Puthucheary made in Parliament, I thought it is a nice sounding idea that will unfortunately have limited success. The cynic in me thinks that if an opposition MP had mooted the same idea, it would have been met with some derision from our ministers. So I’m a little surprised at how quickly the suggestion has gained acceptance, considering how the government tends to drag its feet when it comes to accepting ideas that go against its no-free-lunch…


The road to hell is paved with ERP gantries

Hell may be too strong a word, but that’s how some of us feel on the dreary Monday morning commute to work. In this letter on TODAYonline, the writer laments that worsening road congestion in Singapore shows the ineffectiveness of the ERP system and urges the LTA to come up with better solutions. While not explicitly stated, you sense that the writer may be a little too optimistic in hoping that the government will agree with him and scrap the system altogether. In another letter published last week, the writer blamed the ERP for costing him time with his family…

Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops

Pardon our Prime Minister – he was on live TV after all when he muttered those words. I had a hard time deciding whether it was another one of those Marie Antoinette moments that our leaders are prone to lapse into, or if our PM was just being brutally honest (a hard truth as his old man calls it) when he was asked on Singapore’s future population. “Six million or so should not be a problem”, he said. No doubt, you can’t fault his logic. We can build taller flats, reclaim more land and build more train lines. And after…

No car but can travel: Checking our desires to own cars

No car but can travel: Checking our desires to own cars

Guest post by Lorong Cat When friends from Singapore visit me in London, I invariably get asked the question, “Why didn’t you get a car?” Fair point. A cheap second car in the UK costs about as much as the top end Apple Macbook, very affordable by Singapore’s standards. I get this question so often, I have readily on hand the standard response stocked in my bag of Frequently Asked Questions. Being an organised person and all, it comes in a bullet form: I live within the tube (London subway) network and I can get to most places in central…

Public Transport Subsidies

Public Transport Subsidies


Tolerance for errant road users

Errant Drivers – It wasn’t me!

Politicians and social media don’t normally mix well together. Online vilification befalls the intrepid politician who dares make critical observations of undesirable social behaviour. You can expect members of the public to hurl a fair share of blame or sarcasm the other way. Thus, when Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam recounted on Facebook some unpleasant road encounters he had recently, he must not have expected such an overwhelming level of accord with Singaporeans. Over 300 comments were posted, largely in commiseration and many bringing along their own stories from the road. It was like a coming together of…