Monday, August 31, 2009

Enhancements To Confusion

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore just announced that it has completed its review of the Off-Peak Car (OPC) scheme and will implement some initiatives to ‘enhance’ the OPC scheme.

I would like the LTA to explain its definition of ‘enhance’ because from what I read their new policies just cause confusion.

First off, LTA will implement an e-Day License to replace the current paper license which OPC owners need to put on their vehicles if they want to use the vehicles during peak hours. So there’s no need for owners to put on the day license 23 Nov 2009 as long as they have applied for it online.

Here’s the thing; owners do not need to apply for the e-Day License beforehand. They can use the OPC and then apply for the e-Day License online the following day. LTA say this is to offer greater flexibility for drivers. I say it just offer more confusion for everyone.

You want to use the OPC during peak hours, then apply for the license first then use it. What’s wrong with that? If you don’t have the license, you can’t use the OPC. That’s simple right? LTA is allowing owners to use the OPC, and then apply for the license on the following day? Wouldn’t that be more confusing for everyone?

And don’t even get me started on the cash rebates for conversion of normal cars to the new OPC scheme. The payment of $1,100 every six months' registration as an OPC is sheer madness.

Right now when you convert normal cars to the OPC scheme, it’s relatively straight forward. When you de-register the car, you get the PARF/COE rebate and an extra rebate based on how long you drive as an OPC. Now when you convert normal cars to the new OPC scheme, you will get a payment of $1,100 for every six months you keep your car as an OPC.

I think a lot of owners will go ‘YES!’ when they hear this news but since you will get less money when you de-register the car; there’s not much difference really. Any money you get now is deducted from the money you will get at the end. However if you just imagine the sheer amount of cheques LTA will be issuing out every 6 months, I will say that unless LTA suddenly hired a lot more people in their finance department, some owners will have a hard time getting some of these cheques.

That is when LTA start issuing the cheque! To add to the confusion, LTA hasn’t given a date on when the new OPC conversion scheme will start. The new OPC conversion scheme is an idea LTA have but they are, seemingly, still unsure about the scheme and have not stated when the new OPC conversion scheme will start.

Minister for Transport Mr. Raymond Lim said that LTA are studying how to make the OPC scheme more convenient and attractive to car owners. Maybe he should add to it and find a way for it to be less confusing for everyone else.

No comments: