Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Singapore Says No More Cars

That’s enough! Photo: Sean Gerrity/Flickr
That’s enough! Photo: Sean Gerrity/Flickr

The island city-state of Singapore is capping the number of cars on its streets.

To own a car in Singapore, you need a permit. And beginning in February, the Singapore government will cease to issue additional permits. Currently, permit growth is capped at about 0.25 percent annually.

Space is just too limited to accommodate more motor vehicles. "In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network," the Singapore government said in its announcement of the car cap.

At 277 square miles, Singapore is about the size of Lexington, Kentucky. About 12 percent of its land area is consumed by roads. Geographic constraints help explain why Singapore is a global innovator in traffic management, first introducing downtown congestion pricing back in 1975.

While Singapore is unique in some respects, it's also responding to the same pressures that face any urbanized area of sufficient size. Cars don't fit, so Singapore is investing in transit.

The country has expanded the length of its rail network 30 percent in the past six years, according to the government's announcement, and is planning to invest US$14 billion on rail expansion and $3 billion on additional bus service over the next five years.

Singapore says it will reevaluate the hard cap on cars in 2020.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Advocates Share What It Takes to Fight Highway Expansions in Court 

What does it take to sue your state DOT? Time, money, the right partners, and a little creativity, a recent survey of activists found.

July 19, 2024

Friday Video: Paris Does it Again

Come for the bike-friendly streets, but stay for adopt-a-tree program and all the car-free school roadways.

July 19, 2024

Neighbors Want a BART Stop in San Antonio

It's one of the most densely populated parts of the Bay Area. BART goes right through it. So why not stop there?

July 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

Rep. Waters hates the people mover; SacRT's new transportation hub; Lessons learned from a long bike ride; More

July 19, 2024

The Active Transportation Program Has to Strategize About its Severely Reduced Funding

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024
See all posts