Parliament: Fewer foreign-registered cars entered S'pore after fee hike

Parliament: Fewer foreign-registered cars entered S'pore after fee hike
The traffic volume during the morning peak hours yesterday stayed high, despite the toll increase. Singapore raised charges from $1.20 to $3.80 for cars leaving the country. And while it was free earlier to enter the Republic, it now costs $2.70.

The number of foreign cars entering Singapore has dipped since the Republic raised its vehicle entry permit (VEP) fee from $20 to $35 in August.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told Parliament yesterday that during the April to Sept period, 10,900 and 12,100 foreign- registered cars entered Singapore a day on a weekday and weekend respectively.

This was about 8.4 per cent and 11 per cent fewer than the 11,900 and 13,600 foreign cars in the same period last year.

The fall might have been sharper if the Aug-Sept period was measured but Mr Lui was responding to Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC), who asked for the past six months' figures.

Ms Lee also asked whether the Government would move the free entry time for Malaysian cars into Singapore on weekdays to after 7pm, instead of 5pm currently.

She said this would be more in line with the off-peak car scheme, which allows free usage of red-plated cars between 7pm and 7am.

Mr Lui said the Government will consider the suggestion, and added that "we will also factor in the possibility of Malaysia implementing its proposed charge on non-Malaysian-registered vehicles entering Malaysia".

The minister was referring to Johor's plans to impose a VEP-like charge on non-Malaysian cars entering the country. Malaysia's Transport Ministry said the charge will be no more than RM50 (S$19.50) but has not announced an implementation date.

Malaysia has since raised Causeway tolls sharply. The increases were matched by Singapore last month.

A round trip to Malaysia using the Causeway now costs about $13.10 - more than five times the cost before revisions by the two sides. The cost of a similar trip using the Second Link in the west remains unchanged at $12.40.

This article was first published on November 5, 2014.
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