One of the most unpopular and vilified government agencies in Singapore is the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The motoring public has accused it of greed, high-handedness and arrogance. But LTA has thus far chosen to remain silent.
Its ERP tentacles have reached even the doorsteps of motorists. Its legion of Enforcement swoops into every nook and corner to search for illegal parking. They are more omnipresent than the police force.
When MPs pleaded for Saturday ERP to be removed, LTA remained unmoved.
All this the motoring public is well acquainted with.
However there’s another revenue-generating instrument of LTA that’s not on many people’s radar.
This is the surcharge motorists have to pay if they wish to renew their COE for another 10 years. This surcharge is levied on the road tax, increasing by 10 % every year to a maximum of 50%. Which means a motorist has to fork out 150% of his road tax from the 15th to 20th year of the lifespan of his car.
Now, after one has renewed the COE why does he have to be punished with a surcharge?
People assume that LTA is rational and well-meaning. But is that true?
I can still recall LTA’s response when asked why the need for an exit toll for Singapore vehicles at the Woodlands Checkpoint it replied that it was because the Malaysian side imposed a toll.
Now, I entirely accept the Malaysian entry toll as we are using their road space and adding to their congestion. But why pay a toll when we are LEAVING the country?
LTA has resisted calls to scrap Saturday ERP. Traffic congestion in the city on Saturdays is practically absent and attaining speed of 90 kph is a piece of cake.
ERP is a congestion charge so it’s illogical to impose a fee when there’s no congestion.
The only conclusion most motorists I’ve spoken to is that LTA is obsessed with generating revenue.
LTA should be more socially responsible and not allow greed to be its core value.
LTA ENFORCEMENT: snoops everywhere looking to issue summons
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