It is frustrating that COEs are not coming down, while the congestion everywhere is getting worse.
Congestion on Singapore roads
The transport infrastructure is really getting from bad to worse. There are more buses and trains but the number of passengers seem to be on the rise too. The observation is that there are more foreign workers and students.
Specific to Bus Service 171, there is a group of foreign construction workers who would board near Beauty World Shopping Centre around 7pm. It looks like their employer decided to let them take the public transport instead, adding to the congestion.
For those who take trains at Jurong East MRT, we wonder when they would run out of space to queue up while waiting for the next train.
Traveling by public transport is such a horrible experience that some would still pay for a car, even when the COE hovers around 60,000 dollars.
COE – UPFRONT TRANSPORT TAX
COE is nothing but a transport tax. It is meant to curb car ownership, put a price on congestion, and reduce congestion. But thanks to the great lack of foresight by the government, targeting for 7 million people, and keeping the road infrastructure fixed at 12 percent of land area, we now enjoy the unique situation of high COE and traffic jams everywhere. You can take a bus, train, or drive, but you can be assured of frustrations by the ever growing congestion. The elites who work on flexible hours face no such issues. They can report at 10 am, and leave at 4 pm.
The COE system has failed to curb congestion, but the government is addicted to the revenue collection each year, easily a few billion dollars. It is now even talking about a new ERP system, GPS distance based collection. So even if one is traveling off peak, not adding on to the congestion, you still have to pay the transport tax. Never mind that you have already paid GST for the fuel which is technically already a distance-based tax.
COE FOR SINGAPOREANS
We recognise that there is probably nothing we can say to convince the government to scrap COE. However, can the government at least live up to their promise of Singaporeans First?
It has shown to be willing to give priority to Singaporeans on housing (only SC can apply for BTO), education (SC priority for P1 enrollment), healthcare (SC has a lower rate at public hospitals), but to date, why is the Government still reluctant to give SC priority when it comes to COE balloting?
I appeal to the government to set aside 80 percent of the COE for Singaporeans only.