Singapore, Stop New Car Traffic   Singapore (AsiaNews) – The authorities of the smallest City- State of Southeast Asia will no longer allow car registration from February 2018, citing the low availability of land and billions of dollars allocated for public transport.

The Singaporean Transport Authority (LTA) has announced the resetting of the allowed vehicle growth rate. So far it has been 0.25% per annum for cars and motorcycles. The data will be reviewed in 2020.

Singapore applies strict controls to its vehicle population by setting an annual growth rate and through a system of bidding for the right to own and use a vehicle for a limited number of years. It is one of the most populated nations on the planet and already has an extensive public transport system.

According to LTA, currently 12% of Singapore’s total area is occupied by roads. “Taking into account the constraints imposed by the territory and the needs, there is no room for further expansion of the road network,” the authorities say.

The population of Singapore has grown almost 40% since 2000, reaching about 5.6 million people. Last year, the government registered more than 600,000 private and rented cars on its roads. A mid-range car in Singapore can usually cost four times the price it would have in the United States.

Singapore requires automobile owners to acquire permits, called Tenure Certificates, allowing them to hold vehicles for 10 years. These permits are limited and auctioned by the government. Last week, the concession for smaller vehicles cost 41,617 Singaporean dollars (26,000 euros).

The Lta said that the zero growth target will only affect cars and motorcycles. The growth rate of freight and bus vehicles will remain at 0.25% per annum until March 2021. This will allow businesses time to improve the efficiency of operations and reduce the number of commercial vehicles.

Singapore has expanded its rail network by 30% and added new routes to the bus network. Lta said that over the next five years, the government will continue to invest $ 20 billion (12.5 billion euros) in new rail infrastructure, 4 billion (2.5 billion euros) to renew operational fleets, and 4 more billions of dollars in contractual subsidies for buses.