More carpark lots in Housing Board (HDB) estates will be set aside for shared cars, Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said yesterday

MORE carpark lots in Housing Board (HDB) estates will be set aside for shared cars, Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said yesterday.

"We will give more support to car-sharing schemes so that more households can have this as part of their mobility options," she said in Parliament.

This would mean more choices for car sharer John Sih, 53, as more cars can be stationed across the island.

The training consultant has two carparks near his home in Punggol where he can pick up a pre-booked shared car.

"It is very convenient. Everybody who needs a car can share, rather than pay HDB to park your car when it is unused 40 to 50 per cent of the time. The car utilisation is much better," he said.

But if he wants more options, or if others have already booked a nearby car the same time he wants it, Mr Sih may have to take a bus to carparks farther away.

Mr Sih is one of about 9,000 members of car clubs here, which have 300 cars. He used to own a car until last year, when its certificate of entitlement was up. "It was so expensive and not worth it to get another car. I was exploring options and gave car-sharing a try," he said.

Now, he spends around $200 a month to book a car 10 to 15 times. Typically, these are for grocery trips, work or to take his daughter to Nanyang Technological University, where she studies.

The concept's emphasis on car access over car ownership makes sense for Singapore, said Ms Teo.

This is especially so, given estimates that every car added to a well-organised car sharing scheme takes the place of 15 private vehicles, she said.

A bicycle-sharing scheme will also be piloted in the Jurong Lake District and Marina Bay by next year.

The authorities may also look at similar schemes in other towns with completed cycling path networks such as Tampines and Sembawang.