Singapore: Pioneering a Car-Lite Future

Singapore consistently makes progress in its efforts to improve the life of its inhabitants. It is why the country ranks consistently high in living quality and as an expat destination. But the Garden City is embarking on its biggest challenge yet: pioneering a car-lite future.

Singapore, as a global economic hub, is trying to follow in the footsteps of other progressive European counterparts that have already implemented measures to decrease car use in city centres. Park Place Residence at PLQ and other inner city developments are just some of the progressive plans skewed to this drive.

Legislation

A significant milestone in the drive to create a car-lite future, the state passed the Active Mobility Bill. This bill legitimises bicycles and personal mobility devices or PMDs – a term too broadly describes e-scooters, hoverboards, and unicycles – as a mode of transport. It also permits these PMDs to go on footpaths, shared paths and cycling paths around the city.

Car-Lite Infrastructure

Singapore is also becoming one of the more bicycle-friendly countries. From pilot programs to bike sharing, cycling has a lot of support from the state as well as private companies. There are also initiatives from the state to decentralise the Central Business District by developing secondary hubs like Paya Lebar, so people have to travel shorter distances to go to work. Paya Lebar Quarter, a key catalyst to this master plan, directly connects to dual MRT lines as well as direct cycling links—connecting MRT stations to park connector networks—so occupants in the precinct can make easier and safer commutes to and from work.

A Long Way to Go

The Singapore government is targeting a 75% public transport ride share by 2030. It still has a long way to go in terms of results, and plans are underway to improve other areas, too. Roads are still a major investment point as it covers 12% of Singapore’s terrestrial area. The hope is to create more housing and sustainable developments. There is also more effort in building end-of-trip amenities for bikers.

Few cities provide infrastructure support as Singapore, but most importantly, the city-state has to have its people’s support to do more. Public opinion is changing about car-less days and benefits of fewer cars in the streets. This is encouraging the government to further enhance car-free campaigns. As a result, people can look forward to improved public health and reduced congestion.