Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Transport system set up to SCREW Singaporeans

truth View profile
More options Jan 21, 10:54 pm

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
From: "truth"
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 14:54:49 GMT
Local: Thurs, Jan 21 2010 10:54 pm
Subject: Transport system in Singapore set up to SCREW Singaporeans

COE @ $20K...rationing your dreams.

The COE for all categories of cars have breached $20K[Link] - car dealers
accurately predicted this in Sep 2009 when the govt cut the number of COEs
by 16%[Link]. Yes, what to do? More people want cars and Singapore has only
so many roads so we have to ration car ownership and control the use of
cars. The COE is a unique solution and the ERP is fairly unique - some
countries collect toll for the use of highways but the ERP is a finer
grained solution controling the use of stretches of roads that are
congested. If the COE system is necessary - we were told that we will have
crippling traffic jams without the COE, why haven't cities without COE
fallen apart? and why are we the only ones with COE?..I'll answer this

In many countries, having a family car is very common if not a necessity but
in Singapore it is considered a luxury and owning one is dream for many
working class families. Because the number of COEs is fixed every year
depending on the number of cars deregistered and allowing for a small
limited growth, it is build into the system that many, if not most, families
will never own a car. By importing more people who also compete for the
limited number of COEs, even fewer Singaporeans can realise this dream.

The COE is allocated based on a bidding system i.e. it is allocated based on
ability to pay rather than a person's needs. A family with 3 children has no
priority over the teenage son of a tycoon - it is all decided based on who
can spend more money. Now superimpose this COE system on a society with the
highest level of income inequality in the developed world...hmmm what do you
get? Then you supplement this with a 'for profit' public transport system
which has shareholders to answer to. What you get is a transport system that
people are constantly unsatisfied with. Cars are not going to the people who
need it - families with children or individuals with disability but to
people with money ...and a public transport system that has to tradeoff
between service quality and profits for shareholders. Caught is this system
is the working class father who has to carry his baby's stroller up a
sardine packed bus and the mother who has to carry the baby and perhaps
control a toddler who can't get a seat because the bus is packed and the
tired Singaporean on the priority seat has closed his eyes and pretended to
doze off.

Today as I was getting onto the MRT, I noticed that they have hired a woman
wearing gloves at the platform. What are the gloves for? This woman will
instruct the people on crowded trains to 'move to the center'. If they are
too deaf or too stubborn, she will start using her hands to move them- that
is why she needs the gloves. Why can't a supposedly world class govt run a
public transport to maximise comfort for commuters without hiving it off to
profit-seeking shareholders who want passengers to be packed like cattle so
they can maximise their profits?

Now for the great mystery - why do we need the COE system when no other
city's transport system has collapsed without implementing it? Why doesn't
Seoul of pop. density double that of Singapore need to have COE? What about
Tokyo....why hasn't it collapsed from a traffic gridlock without COE? What
about Taipei which has a population density 1.5 times that of Singapore? We
ended up with this unique COE system that brought in more revenue for the
PAP govt from car ownership than any other govt in the world and we also
have the one of the most profitable, if not the most profitable public
transport system per capita (aka SMRT) in the world....actually the public
transport system in most countries lose money. So what is the explanation
for this great mystery?

The demand for cars depends a lot on the quality of service of the public
transport system. If you take 2 hours driving to work, you will switch to
the MRT if it gets you there in 1 hour. This is why most Tokyo residents
leave their cars at home and take the subway - 1 in 2 households in Tokyo
own cars[Link] but less than 10% use it to get to work. Most govt curb the
growth of the car population and usage by investing heavily in public
transport to make the network extensive and rides comfortable to lower the
demand for cars. The Taipei subway for example arrives at less than 1 minute
intervals during peak hours. In Seoul, the public transport network in up
and running before people start moving into new residential areas to
encourage them to use the public transport instead of buying cars.

By implementing its unique COE + ERP system, the PAP has been able to create
a new source of revenue. At the same time, there is less pressure to improve
the public transport rapidly now that the govt is able to control the
absolute number of cars - the shares in public transport company have been
sold to profit seeking shareholders and the public transport company now has
to generate profit to distribute as dividends to these shareholders .No
other city even those with far higher population density has needed to curb
car population using a vehicle quota system....and no other govt in the
world has been able to collect more revenue from car ownership than the PAP.

posted by LuckySingaporean

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