Will car sharing work in Singapore?

car sharing singapore

The Transport Minister was addressing parliament when he mentioned that the ministry is investigating the feasibility of car sharing in Singapore. For a small country like Singapore where land is a limited resource, the right to own a vehicle has become a privilege of the well heeled. This limited resource has been allocated via the Certificate of entitlement( COE ) ever since 1990. Such a scheme has made the cost of owning a Toyota in Singapore equivalent to that of owning a Porsche in the United States.

According to the White Paper  on population issued by the PAP government, the population of Singapore is projected to be 6.9 million in 2030, a staggering 35% increase in a city state that is already displaying overcrowding issues. In such a scenario, The transport minister, Lui Tuck Yew proposed looking at the possibility of car sharing in order to ease the pressure of private car ownership demand.

The question is will car sharing work in a country in Singapore with strong Asian values attached to ownership?

Car Sharing is a system which allows the user to have the freedom of accessing a fleet of vehicles located throughout Singapore anytime as long as there are vehicles available at the particular collection point. Usually, it takes less than 10 minutes from booking to collecting a your sharing vehicle and the whole process is automated and it is also self-service just is almost like having your own car. Depending on the needs, the driver can choose among different types of vehicles and just pay for the mileage and usage time.

I do see one particular benefit of car sharing. At least we are no longer under the mercy of taxi drivers who are never available when you need one. With a system of car sharing in place, we can take more taxis and private vehicles off the road which will meant less traffic congestion and pollution.

For such a system to work, the ministry will have to give its fullest support behind it. There must be:

– Sufficient reserved carpark lots in multiple locations island wide and easily available to drivers in residential areas.

– booking prices must be low enough to encourage potential car buyers to try the system. The ministry would need to step in the control the prices and provide the resources necessary for nationwide acceptance.

– Existing car owners should be allowed and encouraged to share their vehicles  for some income on days they do not need to drive. However the booking prices should be kept low so that people do not buy a car for the sake of car sharing income.

Whether car sharing can be a viable solution to Singapore traffic congestion problems depends on how much responsibility the Transport ministry is willing to bear and the amount of resources allocated.



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