The opening of the Downtown Line was supposed to bring more options to commuters traveling to and from the city. It is also touted as the good news for the future, to lesser dependence on the convenience of cars and private transport. So, go forth and spread the good news. With so many train lines criss crossing the island, going anywhere would now be a breeze and super efficient. This would lead to more car owners leaving their cars behind or not even wanting to pay for the cut throat prices of car ownership.
is working towards a car
light city. I can’t help but to repeat, this is the good news. Singapore
Last Tuesday and Wednesday morning saw the East West Line slowing to a crawl during morning peak hours. Many commuters were late for work. Thursday morning, the new Downtown Line was disrupted in less than a week from its test run. Lateness has become a new normal, due to train stoppages, slowdowns or breakdowns. We cannot expect to push a button and everything works anymore.
What are the options when the most important public transport is no longer reliable and cars are so super expensive? Walking and cycling. These two modes of moving from place to place will become the alternative to public transport. Singaporeans must be prepared to use their heads, oops, I mean use their legs, to move around.
It is time to promote healthy living by walking from one end of the island to the other end, from Changi Point to Tuas and vice versa, from Woodlands to World Trade Centre and back. It is good for Singaporeans. It will not affect their quality of life. In fact they will be more healthy and fit, like the coolies of the 1940s and 50s. Just get use to it and pretend it is good for health, healthy living, quality lifestyle. Better still, promote it as the new aspiration of Singaporeans. Condition the Singaporeans to love walking and bicycles and to sneer at car ownership as something bad. Stop all the promotions and advertisements on driving posh cars just like stopping the advertisements on cigarettes.
And to make sure the good news of lesser cars in this city becomes a reality, introduce an additional lifestyle tax of $100k for car ownership. That would leave only the multi millionaires and billionaires to be the only people able to own cars. And when the population of cars has fallen, there will be no need for all the ERP gantries or car parks in HDB, freeing more space to increase the population to 10m or 20m.
Singaporeans must be rejoicing at the good news on how good life will be going forward, without cars and with so many train lines to bring them to wherever they want to go.