Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Why is digitalization important in the delivery of public services? What challenges did LTA face during the transition of vehicle services from counter to digital? How did the team respon - EssayAbode

Why is digitalization important in the delivery of public services? What challenges did LTA face during the transition of vehicle services from counter to digital? How did the team respon

Please use the case study attached to answer the following questions:

  1. Why is digitalization important in the delivery of public services?
  2. What challenges did LTA face during the transition of vehicle services from counter to digital? How did the team respond to resistance to change? 
  3. " Digital transformation is more about people than technology." In the context of OneMotoring, to what extent do you agree with this statement?
  4. What are some lessons on change management that can be drawn from LTA's experience with the digitalization of vehicle services?
  5. Considering perspectives from both the government and citizens, what factors would define the next generation of vehicle services? What other digital services would be useful to motorists?

Below are a few requirements for the format: 

  • This should be typed and at least two double-spaced pages, using a font size of 12 points. 
  • APA format.
  • Start by writing down your question number (e.g., Q1); no need to retype each question. Support your arguments with facts from the case or elsewhere. Feel free to use a bullet format wherever appropriate. Please remember that simple reports without innovative solutions, ideas, and suggestions will not get full credit. 


This case was written by Professor Lily Kong, Associate Professor Orlando Woods, and Dr Cheah Sin Mei at the Singapore Management University and Professor Tim Bunnell at the National University of Singapore. The case was prepared solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality. Copyright © 2022, Singapore Management University Version: 2022-09-22


Singapore is a nation where we can create possibilities for ourselves beyond what we imagined


– Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore1

For more than two decades since the soft launch of the OneMotoring portal in 2000, the one-stop

gateway to vehicle-related services in Singapore had been an integral resource for the motoring

community. From real-time traffic updates to renewing road tax, paying transport-related fees, and

supporting the entire lifecycle of vehicle ownership, the portal offered more than a hundred digital

services delivered by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the government agency overseeing land

transport in the country.

These public e-service delivery efforts were a continuation of the Singapore Government’s national

computerisation journey that began as early as the 1980s. LTA was among the forerunners in the

digital transformation of public services. More recently, Singapore’s achievements as a Smart City

and in city mobility attested to its success in digitalisation. The city-state was named the leading

Smart City thrice from 2019 to 2021.2

It was no surprise that owing to its success, the government had to meet rising citizen expectations

over the years. This fact was acknowledged by Alvin Chia, Group Director of Vehicle Services Group

at LTA, who noted, “Expectation of public services has heightened tremendously.”

Back in the 2000s, LTA had battled its fair share of challenges commonly encountered by agencies

embarking on a digital transformation journey. Users’ lack of computer literacy, the loss of human

touch in service delivery, the difficulty in authenticating user digital identity, and workforce

transition were among the common pertinent issues. Through stakeholder engagement, work

redesign, employee retraining, leveraging government-wide shared services, and active partnership

with multiple entities, LTA had succeeded in surmounting those obstacles.

While the portal has been serving and meeting most of the motorists’ needs, LTA is not resting on

its laurels. Moving ahead with times, LTA sees opportunities to push the envelope further to serve

motorists better. LTA has in its pipeline a new round of system upgrade. Efforts are underway to

1 Smart Nation Singapore, “Transforming SG Through Tech”, singapore, accessed March 2022. 2 Smart Nation Singapore, “Achievements”,, accessed

March 2022.

For the exclusive use of C. Cuesta, 2024.

This document is authorized for use only by Camila Cuesta in SM6021-Summer 2024 taught by POUYAN ESMAEIL ZADEH, Florida International University from Apr 2024 to Oct 2024.

SMU-22-0018 OneMotoring


evaluate the adoption of newer technologies, such as microservices and agile methodology, which

would enable quicker delivery of services and policy changes. With so many digital possibilities

presented by technological advancements, how is LTA reimagining the delivery of vehicle services

from the future of mobility perspective? How would the system cope with rapid policy changes to

accommodate the arrival of new vehicle technologies such as electric vehicles? What new digital

services might motorists in Singapore look forward to in the next few years?

Urban Mobility in Singapore, A Smart City

Singapore has been recognised as the world’s leading smart city over three consecutive years from

2019 to 2021. 3 According to the Smart City Index published by Institute of Management

Development (IMD) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the city-state

was ranked top among more than a hundred cities on how technology was used to improve the lives

of its residents (refer to Exhibit 1 for the rankings). Singapore also performed well in the mobility

domain, one of the five key elements of a smart city.4 The Deloitte City Mobility Index 2020 placed

Singapore as the global leader in integrated mobility, accessibility, and infrastructure investment, in

addition to being a top performer in several areas including the management of congestion.5

Perennial traffic congestion in metropolitan cities has been a major urban transportation issue that

has marred travel experience for commuters. With the rare exception of a few cites, tackling traffic

congestion remains a challenge. Even though Singapore has been well-regarded internationally as an

exemplar of employing innovative approaches towards road traffic management,6 the city-state

continues to face challenges, with greater demand for seamless and efficient mobility by a growing

population. Rising affluence in the city-state has also led to higher demand for private car ownership,

even as the small island struggles with land constraints and a high population density.7 Left to its

own devices, unregulated increase in private vehicle usage would undoubtedly exacerbate traffic


Singapore’s approach to addressing these challenges has entailed a balance between vehicle

population control and road usage restrictions, on the one hand, and improving public transport on

the other. The balance has in part been achieved by schemes such as Vehicle Quota System (VQS),

Additional Registration Fee (ARF) and Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). Implemented in 1990, the

VQS was a bidding system for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which was the right to own a

vehicle in Singapore for ten years.8 Prior to the purchase of a new vehicle, buyers would have to bid

3 Smart Nation Singapore, “Achievements”,, accessed

March 2022. 4 The five elements defined by the IMD-SUTD Smart City Index were health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and

governance. IMD, “Smart City Observatory”,, accessed March 2022. 5 Deloitte, “Deloitte City Mobility Index 2020”, Mobility-Index/Singapore_GlobalCityMobility_WEB.pdf, accessed March 2022. 6 Wolfgang Ketter and Mary Loane, “How Road Pricing is Tackling Congestion and Pollution in Cities Like London and Singapore”,

World Economic Forum, December 21, 2021, pollution-in-cities/, accessed March 2022. 7 Singapore occupied a land area of 720 square kilometres. In 2021, Singapore’s population density was one of the highest in the world

at 7,485 residents per square kilometre. Department of Statistics (Singapore), “Population and Population Structure”,, accessed March

2022. 8 Marsita Omar and Nor-Afidah Abd Rahman, “Certificate of Entitlement”, Singapore Infopedia, June 2019,, accessed March 2022.

For the exclusive use of C. Cuesta, 2024.

This document is authorized for use only by Camila Cuesta in SM6021-Summer 2024 taught by POUYAN ESMAEIL ZADEH, Florida International University from Apr 2024 to Oct 2024.

SMU-22-0018 OneMotoring


for a COE under a quota set quarterly. Upon registration, successful bidders would have to pay ARF,

a tax that could cost up to twice as much as the vehicle’s open market value. Road congestion has

been managed using ERP since 1998 (and its predecessor, the Area Licensing Scheme introduced in

1975), in which motorists had to pay a toll for passing through gantries located in high-traffic areas.

Taken together, VQS, ARF, and ERP have been effective policy instruments moderating the

relentless growth of the vehicle population and have played a part in ensuring smooth traffic flows.9

Land Transport Authority


The Land Transport Authority (LTA) was established as a statutory board under the Ministry of

Transport in September 1995.10 Formed from the merger of four public entities – the Registry of

Vehicles (ROV), the Land Transportation Division of the Ministry of Communications, the Roads

and Transportation Division of the Public Works Department, and the Mass Rapid Transit

Corporation11 – LTA’s role is primarily to spearhead the development of the country’s land transport.

From its early mission of building a world-class transport system, the authority has progressed to set

its sights on “connecting people and places, [and] enhancing travel experiences”.12

Mobility Initiatives

Embarking on the computerisation journey as early as the 1980s, LTA was one of the forerunners of

public service digital transformation. The public sector’s digital transformation efforts had been

organised around a successive series of IT masterplans (refer to Exhibit 2 for a list of masterplans).

Additionally, national and sectoral level land transport initiatives were rolled out progressively with

the common goal of accelerating the transformation of Singapore’s mobility landscape.

In 2014, the Smart Nation initiative was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who

envisioned Singapore as “a nation where people live meaningful and fulfilled lives, enabled

seamlessly by technology, offering exciting opportunities for all”.13 The initiative represented a

significant move that would herald the next phase of urban transformation for Singapore. One of the

eight Strategic National Projects identified by the initiative was Smart Urban Mobility, in which the

deployment of digital technologies would support the country’s vision of a ‘Car-Lite Singapore’.14

9 Chng, Samuel, Charles Abraham, Mathew P. White, and Stephen Skippon, “To Drive or Not to Drive? A Qualitative Comparison of

Car Ownership and Transport Experiences in London and Singapore”, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 2 (2019):

100030. 10 Tan Lay Yuen, “Land Transport Authority”, Singapore Infopedia, 2016,, accessed March 2022. 11 Ibid. 12 LTA, “Mission, Vision & Shared Values”,, accessed March 2022. 13 Prime Minister Office, “PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Smart Nation Launch”, November 24, 2014,, accessed

March 2022. 14 Centre for Liveable Cities (Singapore), “Creating Liveable Cities Through Car-Lite Urban Mobility”, 2016,, accessed March 2022.

For the exclusive use of C. Cuesta, 2024.

This document is authorized for use only by Camila Cuesta in SM6021-Summer 2024 taught by POUYAN ESMAEIL ZADEH, Florida International University from Apr 2024 to Oct 2024.

SMU-22-0018 OneMotoring


Introduced in the same year as the Smart Nation programme was the Smart Mobility 2030 strategic

plan. It was jointly developed by LTA and the Intelligent Transportation Society of Singapore, an

organisation representing the local transport industry. Building on the strong foundation of an

Intelligent Transport System15, the plan sought to provide guidance to the transport sector to develop

information services that would enhance the land travelling experience of diverse commuter groups.16

Vehicle Services

The early pursuit of computerisation in the 1980s saw LTA going into automation of routine, labour-

intensive tasks to improve productivity and efficiency. One of the early adopters of technology to

undergo reform was vehicle registration and licensing.

Within LTA, the Vehicle Services Group (VSG) was responsible for the registration and licensing

of vehicles since taking over the function from its predecessor, ROV. VSG served the full spectrum

of motorists’ needs from the point of registration to the deregistration of vehicles, including cars,

motorcycles, taxis, buses, and goods vehicles as well as power-assisted bicycles and e-scooters. Over

the years, VSG had grown and expanded the services it provided, supported by its various subgroups

including the Vehicle Service Operations, Vehicle Service Development, Vehicle Engineering,

Foreign Vehicle Permits & Customer Service, and Investigations & Intelligence.17

LTA’s digitalisation journey unfolded in the backdrop of the broader ‘Whole-of-Government’

transformation efforts. Drawing lessons from the past 50 years of transformation, senior government

officers acknowledged that the public sector must remain relevant to the needs and sentiments of

citizens.18 The digitalisation of vehicle services supported that narrative, as Alvin Chia, Group

Director of VSG articulated,

We see ourselves aligned with what the public sector is gearing towards – a Smart City. Because

transport is an integral piece of our daily life, we want to make our vehicle services smarter,

easier to use, and more convenient for the public.

Prior to computerisation, the only service channel was the counters at LTA’s Customer Service

Centre at Sin Ming Drive. Amid the quieter residential and industrial estates in the surrounding area

was the hustle and bustle at the Customer Service Centre. The large number of walk-ins, more than

a thousand visitors daily, made a compelling case for automation and self-service.

OneMotoring Portal

15 Intelligent Transport Systems was the collective term for technologies used to gather data on traffic-related information. Land Transport Authority, “Intelligent Transport Systems”,, accessed March

2022. 16 Chin Kian Keong and Grace Ong, “Smart Mobility 2030 – ITS Strategic Plan for Singapore”, Land Transport Authority, November

2015,, accessed March 2022. 17 Singapore Government Directory, “Land Transport Authority, Vehicle Services Group”,, accessed March 2022. 18 Ang Hak Seng and Sueann Soon, “Transformation in the Singapore Public Service: Emerging Stronger from the Pandemic”, Civil

Service College, June 30, 2021, the-pandemic, accessed March 2020

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This document is authorized for use only by Camila Cuesta in SM6021-Summer 2024 taught by POUYAN ESMAEIL ZADEH, Florida International University from Apr 2024 to Oct 2024.

SMU-22-0018 OneMotoring


The first generation of the vehicle registration & licensing system, named the Motor Vehicle Project

(MVP), was launched in the 1980s. The MVP primarily served motor dealers, who acted as

intermediaries for motorists. The dealers would typically handle the complex paperwork involved in

the registration and licensing process and personally submit the required documents to LTA on behalf

of the vehicle owners. Upon confirmation of the registration, the vehicle owner would be issued with

a log card and a road tax disc. Two decades later, the MVP was replaced by the Vehicle Registration

& Licensing System (VRLS) and a public-facing website –

Calibrated Transition

Soft-launched in 2000, the OneMotoring portal was introduced to the public as a one-stop service

gateway catering to the varying needs of the motoring community. With a third of the road journeys

made by private cars19 and more than one million vehicles on the road20, motorists represented a

sizeable segment of road users in Singapore.

Taking a calibrated and incremental approach of converting over-the-counter services to e- services

on the portal, VSG phased the portal development over a few years. Chia described,

We were very mindful from the onset that this is going to be a mammoth task because people are

so used to the manual way. The resistance to change and the resistance to adopt technologies are

very real concerns. So, we were mindful that we must do this [transformation] incrementally.

In 2001, OneMotoring started offering enquiry services such as road tax payable and vehicle

rebates.21 A year later, transactional services, including bidding for COE and renewing road tax,

were available on the portal. The portal also began accepting e-payment such as direct debit.

Following this, LTA developed a new system to replace MVP, which was unable to support modern

internet-enabled services due to its archaic system architecture. A suite of

[email protected] was officially launched in 2006. Motorists, in addition to motor

dealers, could go online instead of making trips to the Customer Service Centre for a wide variety of


Apart from the hundred-odd e-services that covered enquiries, transactions, and e-payments, the

public and motor dealers could register, transfer and deregister their vehicles at their convenience

and in the comfort of home or office. In addition to more commonly utilised services such as road

tax renewal, payment of fees and fines, motorists could also access real-time traffic updates via

traffic.smart22, an interactive map that displayed the locations of accidents, vehicle breakdowns,

roadworks, flash floods, toll gantries, speed cameras, and traffic speed of major roads. When the use

of smartphones became more prevalent, the portal added mobile services.

19 Deloitte, “Deloitte City Mobility Index 2020”,

Mobility-Index/Singapore_GlobalCityMobility_WEB.pdf, accessed March 2022. 20 Smart Nation Singapore, “Smart Transport Initiatives”,, accessed March 2022. 21 Gary Pan, Foo See Liang and Tan ShongYe, “Governing a Digital Business Ecosystem: Lessons from ONEMOTORING Portal”,

Accountancy Business and the Public Interest, 13 (2014): 22. 22 OneMotoring Portal, “”, smart.html, accessed March 2022.

For the exclusive use of C. Cuesta, 2024.

This document is authorized for use only by Camila Cuesta in SM6021-Summer 2024 taught by POUYAN ESMAEIL ZADEH, Florida International University from Apr 2024 to Oct 2024.