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Vehicle Ownership Restrictions : Singapore Style

Have a look at how Singapore manages it's traffic:

We could have a similar, or atleast a modified system like the one above.

What could be done is restrict vehicle ownership within the core areas such as within the "outer ring road". There was a suggestion by Smt. Vatsala Watsa, IAS, sometime back that car ownership in Bengaluru could be restricted to those who have space to park it. This means, if you own or rent a home, and have adequate car parking space in your home, then you could be alloted a privelege (rather than a right) to own a car.

Further, public parking, which is free these days, could be paid and high parking charges during peak hours could be charged. 

If we in Bengaluru dream of making our city like another Singapore, then we have to follow precedents set by Singapore. 

bangalore-guy's picture

only after we have good public transport system

Agreed such system will restrict the exponential growth of number of cars. But there are many issues with such a system in Bangalore (india in general):

1) Corruption and brokering will make it very difficult for an average person to be able to buy a car no matter how essential it is for him to have a car.

2) The public transport system needs to improve dramatically before anything such can be implemented.

3) I would favor increasing the cost of ownership of vehicles (heavy taxes, heavy parking charges) which would make people turn towards public transport on their own, rather than introducing another bribe heaven for babus and brokers.

silkboard's picture

Smt. Vatsala Watsa's suggestion

Mcadambi, I like Smt. Vatsala Watsa's suggestion. If you don't have the parking space for the car, you will end up leaving it on some street, thus using public space for free. So to buy a car you must show that you have space to park it.

But implementing this could be a nightamre - who will be the decision maker? Can't be the car dealer, will have to be the police or BBMP. It would either take an inspection of residence, or a check on the approved building plan of the residence of the prospective buyer. And then, how will you check proxy registrations. I might also buy the car on an address in Kengei and Ramanagara.

Restriction based enforcements are a little tough to implement in our city (country) right now, reason being - governance systems are pretty weak, and various arms are not connected well.

A better way to restrict car buying or usage would be to start with parking enforcement on every other street. And parking charges should be 'at market' price. If it costs Rs 400 per sqft per month to rent space for business in CBD, you will subsidize private transport by charging Rs 10 per hour for parking a car that will take up 40 sqft. (translates to Rs 180 per sqft per month).

On street parking on residential areas too is a nightmare now. Folks cover the drains, cement the area just outside their property and use that for parking, without paying for using the public space.

Let us do some back of the envelope calculations here. Assuming 6 lakh cars in Bangalore, and further assuming 1 lakhs car being parked for free on public spaces, and assuming a low value of Rs 20 per day in parking charges, you are looking at 1 lakh x 20 x 30 = 600 lakhs per month = 6 crores a month. This money should easily pay for a 50 member parking enforcement squad (assuming salaries + structural costs to be 2 lakhs per month per head, cost for this squad would be Rs 1 Cr per month)

murali772's picture

yes, after we have a good bus transport system

Very true, Bangalore-guy. First and foremost, we need a good public bus transport system. And, the answer possibly lies in what we have already discussed extensively at

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
George E Matthew's picture

Reduce car usage, not ownership

The real problem is not car ownership but car usage. I may own a car and use it only on Sundays to go out with my extended family.I daily travel to work and back by bus. This does not cause much fuel consumption/pollution.  We need to disincentivise car usage, not car ownership. A car does not harm when parked in my garage.

A good area to start will be to reduce car usage for daily office commuting and replace it with public transport. Please note that while good public transport is required, it alone cannot convince people to ditch their cars.  Public transport will never be as comfortable , and give as good door to door service as a car can. Some sort of disincentive or mild punishment may also be needed to force people to give up cars and bikes.

A lot of IT companies are found in Marathalli, Whitefield and on the ring road in this area. Many people use cars to come to this area, and many more use company arranged taxis that typically carry only one or two people. The latter in particular are very dangerously driven-just this morning I had a fairly narrow escape from one. We need to get them off the roads.

Unfortunately, the bus service to this area is not as good as it could be. The Volvos are a hit, and are usually jam-packed. A lot of cars are truly off the road as a result. However, they do not cover all parts of Bangalore as they truly could, and for many people the resulting delays and inconvenience of changing buses to reach their workplace as resulted in increased car usage.

A few companies have provided transport to their employees, either by wet leasing BMTC buses or private vehicles. Unfortunately, these  are limited to one company, and hence are  too few in number to cover the entire city and have a good frequency.In addition, many private bus owners seem to regard the service lanes of the ORR as a personal parking space. The "well reputed multinational" companies who hire them do not seem to care about this. Many break rules at will, taking illegal U turns whenver they want. Just ask anyone stuck in a jam at Bellandur Junction in the evening! 

What  then is the solution? A shared bus service for all companies from this region to the whole of Bangalore, instead of each company running their own bus service. This will greatly reduce traffic in ths area, by making more people shift from their cars. People will use it as they do not have to change buses multiple times, thus saving time. This bus service can run on wet leased BMTC buses/private vehicles-it does not matter, although I think the former option to be much safer. It must be managed by a consoritum of the companies whose employees use it. This will be easily able to work out suitable routes/timings. If the IT cos can get together to lobby the govt, they can also get together to do something productive liek this. Ideally, the govt/High Court will be firm with them and force them to do this.Every employee of the firm will have  a part of his pay compulsarily cut for this purpose, and once this is done usage of the bus service is free. If you want to use your own car-fine, but remember you have to pay for the bus service anyway.That will cause people to use what they are paying for anyways.

The role of the govt is to force companies to work together to implment this solution. I wonder if the govt has the guts to take on this very influential lobby who cry for road infrastructure, but never go out of the way to do reduce the congestion. Maybe a High Court order will help.

I am an employee of one of thes cos.-that is why I see this happening daily. I travel by BMTC ordinary bus from my home, which is fortunately well connected. But many other colleagues who complain about the hig price of petrol are forced to use private transport as there are no suitable routes.

BMTC's hub and spoke model is not very good at getting people to work quickly. Any area which sources or sinks a lot of people should be the starting/end point of a lot of journeys. That is the only way you can get people to travel by public transport without getting them to change multiple times or to take a round about route.

All views here are personal and do not represent my employer/colleagues etc.  

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