Singapore Motorisation Restraint and its Implications on Travel Behaviour and Urban Sustainability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - travel demand management, planning - travel demand management, ridership - demand, ridership - behaviour, policy - congestion, policy - sustainable, economics - pricing, organisation - management, technology - intelligent transport systems, place - urban


Value pricing (Road pricing), Urban areas, Trip reduction, Travel demand management, Travel behavior, Transportation policy, Transportation demand management, Traffic restraint, Traffic congestion, TDM measures, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Singapore, Road pricing, Political factors, Political aspects, Policy analysis, Gridlock (Traffic), Geography, Economic factors, Case studies, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Automobile ownership


This paper provides an overview of Singapore's transportation policy. For the past 30 years, Singapore has consistently implemented transportation policy based on balanced development of road and transit infrastructure and restraint of traffic. Combined with land use planning, this policy has resulted in a modern transportation system that is free from major congestion and that provides users with different travel alternatives. As economic growth increased the demand for cars, several pricing policies were introduced with the aim of restraining car ownership and usage. Growth of the vehicle population is now controlled and potentially congested roads are subject to road pricing. These measures help to eliminate traffic congestion, maintain car share of work trips below 25%, and keep the transportation sector's energy usage low. Although Singapore's transportation policy is a product of its geographical, economic and political factors, other rapidly-growing Asian cities can learn from its experience in managing travel demand.