Vibrant Cities: Lack of vibrancy in Singapore. LTA to be blamed?


Pictures above (taken yesterday at about 6pm) in the Singapore River and Funan Centre areas: dramatic proof of how empty the streets are, and how dead the city is, thanks to ERP.

Most big cities have that vibrancy which, to the keen observer, is missing in Singapore.

Go downtown in Singapore, and you can be forgiven for thinking you’re somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Shopping malls, entertainment outlets and eateries are near-empty during the day.

But go to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, even Hanoi and HCM City you can feel and see how vibrant these cities are.

In Singapore we put up barriers in the form of ERP to prevent traffic congestion. While the idea is good, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has gone overboard in ringing the city with ERP gantries.

Result? Motorists stay away, and the city feels dead.

The authorities never tire of talking about how to make Singapore a vibrant place to rival cities like Vancouver and London but I see no evidence of it happening.

But talk is cheap, you know.

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10 Responses to “Vibrant Cities: Lack of vibrancy in Singapore. LTA to be blamed?”

  1. Wow .. didn’t know our public transport is so successful. At 6pm, maybe everybody still stuck in office or have gone straight home, due to monday blues.

  2. In a way you’re right about the success of public transport. In most cities, 6pm is the evening rush hour but here there’s no sign of it. Perhaps, the rush is underground.

  3. People in Singapore are now doing what their counterparts in other parts of Asia have been doing. 10-15 years ago, you find Singaporeans rushing to go home promptly at 5pm. Today, more are hanging out for social drinks and to chill-out. So this could be just a change in travel pattern.

  4. That’s also true Peter. However, when ERP is lifted at 8pm cars stream in. LTA should lift ERP earlier at 6. It seems to behaving like big business chasing after every cent.

  5. I spent more than $15.00 in one outing, paying parking and ERP charges while getting in and out of town two weeks ago before the Chinese New Year. And that’s excluding petrol and tyre-wear!

    So “motorists stay away, and the city feels dead.” How true.

    • Ouch, that’s a lot of money. Good point about the parking which is expensive downtown.

      Absurd to see roads on very costly real estate lying empty. It’s the responsibility of LTA to constantly adjust ERP rates to attract people into the city.

      Downtown roads certainly can bear a heavier volume of traffic.
      .
      The current situation is highly unsatisfactory.

  6. The LTA has real-time data on the traffic volume going through any ERP gantry. It claims that it uses these data to adjust the ERP rates regularly so that our roads are well-utilised. Clearly this is not the case as you have proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    • Victor, that means either someone is snoozing away or ignoring the real-time data. Probably the $$$$ dazzles and blinds them! Sigh.

  7. Is it time for a change? And for the better? Have we reached the point where silent protest is ineffective?

    Semua tidur lah! Betul. The Indons say, “NGOROK!” (SNORING)!

  8. Zzzzzzzzzzzz


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