(Photo Credit: Parking.sg)
Is the Parking.sg app a convenient replacement for physical parking coupons and gantry-based parking? Let's find out.
A collaboration between GovTech, URA and HDB, Parking.sg is a mobile app that allows motorists to use their mobile devices to pay for their parking session. Instead of displaying physical parking coupons, vehicle owners can simply pay for their session via the app. All they have to do is to select the car park, input their vehicle number and set their parking duration. Fees will be automatically calculated and deducted from your debit or credit card.
Besides eliminating the need for paper coupons, the app even allows you to get a refund should you choose to end your parking session early. The refunded amount will be calculated on a per minute basis, which in all honestly, is better than throwing your unused parking coupons away. In addition, users can even extend their parking duration via the app and receiving notifications when their session is about to expire.
Since its initiation in October last year, the app has registered about two million parking sessions, with over 250,000 vehicle users downloading and using the app. However, the Ministry of National Development (MND) recently claimed that there are no plans to phase out the current systems, which also includes gantry-based electronic parking. Instead, the app will serve to complement them.
Although the app is certainly useful, it still lacks the user base to implement newer and better features. A strong majority of the motor population are still using paper coupons and probably haven't heard of the Parking.sg app. Even if the app is made better known to the public, Singaporeans are rather rigid when it comes to change, and would prefer to stick to a system that has worked in the past.
Besides the lack of users, the app doesn't really have that many features that warrants a download on phones. For example, the app does not indicate the number of parking lots left available, a feature that would definitely be useful for time-strapped vehicle owners. Another ideal feature to have is to allow users to purchase and manage season parking. Maybe with these new features, the MND could see a higher adoption rate from the public.
Lastly, by doing away with gantry-based electronic parking, HDB, URA and LTA would probably need to hire more parking wardens to catch vehicle owners who attempt to "cheat" the system. Currently, there's no lack of parking offenders and violations (people are still getting summoned after all), and by doing away with gantry-based parking, it removes a guaranteed way of collecting parking payment,
Overall, the Parking.sg app is certainly heading in the right direction. While not completely refined, it's still a useful app to have on your phone, especially if you drive and park at various locations. Here at Motorist.sg, we are strong believers of innovation, and we hope more vehicle owners would give the Parking.sg app a shot.
Have you tried out the Parking.sg app? What other features would you like to see on it? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to find out the value of your car? Get in touch and we'll provide you with an obligation-free valuation in just 24 hours.