Motorcyclists and drivers of heavy vehicles can use a smartphone application from today to pay at public carparks that now take paper coupons.
The Parking.sg app was released for cars on Oct 1, but the latest upgrade means it will be available for all vehicle types, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Housing Board and the Government Technology Agency yesterday.
It works by automatically calculating the charges that motorists have to pay based on 30-minute blocks.
If motorists end a session earlier, they will be charged only on a per-minute basis and receive a refund. Charges for motorcycles will be capped at 65 cents for a day or night session at a carpark, similar to current rates.
Motorists can also extend their parking session remotely using the app, which will prompt users when their session is about to expire.
The app was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally as part of Singapore’s Smart Nation drive.
It has been used by the motorists of 152,000 vehicles for more than a million parking sessions since its launch and downloaded more than 300,000 times on Apple iOS and Android devices.
The three agencies developed it so that motorists can pay digitally at the 1100 public carparks that use paper coupons.
These coupons will be phased out but the agencies have not said when that will happen.
Motorcyclist Norman Lee, 37, said he was glad that riders are included in the initiative, but as motorcycle parking rates are capped at 65 cents per day or night session, per-minute charging schemes would not benefit them as much.
“It may benefit riders more if the app could also be used at carparks with electronic gantries that have specific grace periods,” added Mr Lee, who is also honorary general secretary for the Singapore Motor Cycle Trade Association. “At those carparks, a rider is charged for the full session even if he exceeds the grace period by just one minute. In those cases, a per-minute charge would benefit riders.”
Mr Neo Tiam Beng of the Singapore School and Private Hire Bus Owners’ Association said bus drivers would be able to reap some savings from per-minute charging schemes when they wait for passengers at public carparks.
“But it would be more helpful if the app could help drivers locate available spots for overnight parking for heavy vehicles. Sometimes, these spaces are all full and the drivers have to drive around to look for spots, which wastes a lot of petrol,” he said.
Public feedback is being sought to see how the app can be improved. Additional features, including allowing the export of parking history and enhanced map features for carpark selection, are in the works.
Related story: Motorcyclists and heavy-vehicle drivers can now use Parking.sg app
Related story: A brief history of parking coupons in Singapore