Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Not $78K, But Now $82K For Right to Own Car

It was $78K last month, and I thought it was already a ridiculous price to pay for that certificate of entitlement to own a car. The first bidding exercise this month saw a modest increase to $79K. But last evening, the results of the 2nd bidding exercise of March continues to see a significant increase in the Cat B COE prices. It’s now a cool $82,003 for Cat B, and $80,101 for the Cat E (open category).

So now you know the government has plenty of money to upgrade the Bukit Brown roadway to an elevated structure, in order to save the ground beneath it.

Oh, in fact, perhaps that’s going to help with the funding of the busses they’re going to give to SBS Transit and SMRT.

In case you did not realize how much our Land Transport Authority reaps from these COE bids, let me help quantify it for you. The “income” from today’s COE bidding exercise is: $100,823,633. Yes! Over $100 million!!!

Now, let’s see how much our Government can do to really improve bus services, train services, and, why not, even the driving experiences for our drivers! This will probably make a good talking-point for the Hougang by-election.

An ambitious goal: Make riding busses and trains such an enjoyable experience that, well, why would you still want to drive a car? Of course, don’t cheat by making car transportation so impossibly lousy or unaffordable that people don’t actually have a real choice at all.

I’ve always admired, for example, how convenient train services are in Tokyo. They are punctual, and they are frequent. Oh, maybe you also heard about how packed they are, and how station staff are employed to “pack” people into the train carriages. But, what do you know, Singapore’s MRT is almost about the same nowadays too eh?

I skimmed through our Land Transport Authority’s Land Transport Master Plan. One interesting statistic I got out of it was about the average train fares. It’s 91 cents in Singapore, and $1.15 in Tokyo. It’s 26% more expensive in Tokyo. Now, you realize, the cost of living in Tokyo is substantially higher than in Singapore? (Numbeo indicates consumer price in Tokyo is 39% higher than in Singapore.) So relatively speaking, the train fares in Tokyo are pretty reasonable, compared with Singapore.

Why do I feel like our MRT is really so bad?

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