Parking Coupon vs Automated Gantry

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Disclaimer: Image taken from myitchyfingers wordpress blog cos it is too cute!

Here’s the scenario: You enter a HDB multi-storey carpark to a nearby place with great food. You place a $1.00 coupon, thinking that 1 hour is sufficient for a good dinner. Halfway through dinner, you meet an old friend, and you engage in a conversation that was long overdue. You are so engrossed that you’d clean forgotten that your parking has expired, only to find the dreaded white slip at the windscreen… Damn.

I’m sure most, if not all of you, have met with this scenario once in a while, where your parking has expired but you may be too lazy to walk all the way back to your car to extend the session. The electronic gantry system is thus, a godsend; the system automatically deducts based on the time we enter and exit. This greatly reduces the hassle of parking, and we never have to worry about the ubiquitous Officers in white.

However, is this automated system really that good? Usually we would find that the rates for such automated parking higher than that of coupon parking; a price to pay for “automation”? I would think that for a peace of mind, I’d don’t mind paying a bit more.

Regarding the ever-present problem of not able/too lazy to walk back to the car to put 1 more coupon, I would suggest that URA or LTA adopt an SMS-style “time-extension” service for existing non-automated parking estates.

E.g. we send an SMS to a Central system that controls parking with the following text: “EXTEND SJL1234K 1430 to 1500 NRIC”, so that my car SJL1234K is extended 30 minutes, and the 50cents is charged to my telco’s monthly bill. Then, URA will receive the 50cents from my telco and thus erase any SJL1234K summon between 1430 to 1500 hours if booked by the Officers.

This system is similar to the electronic payment system for the current OPCs (Off-peak cars), where drivers are given a chance to decide whether to pay the peak hour fees if they want to use their cars then. OPC owners can choose not to pay, banking on their luck if their IU number is not registered in ANY location during their “secret” drive. Usually, OPC drivers will simply pay and not live with the nagging fear of fines.


AutoKinetics – The Way it Should Be

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