Parking app easy to use, say drivers, but not all are keen

Mr Eugene Tay, a director of a trading firm, trying out the Parking.sg app yesterday. The 27-year-old said that he found it easy to navigate the app, but his elderly parents, who do not own smartphones, would still have to rely on parking coupons.
Mr Eugene Tay, a director of a trading firm, trying out the Parking.sg app yesterday. The 27-year-old said that he found it easy to navigate the app, but his elderly parents, who do not own smartphones, would still have to rely on parking coupons.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Some say it is a cinch to download and navigate; others sticking to coupons for now

Motorists who have tried the new Parking.sg app gave it the thumbs up, saying it is easy to download and use. But many have yet to do so and say they will stick to their paper parking coupons for now.

Yesterday was the first day that motorists could use the app to park at public carparks that do not have electronic gantries.

Of the motorists The Straits Times approached, one said he had downloaded the app, two did it on the spot, while seven others said they would take a wait-and-see approach.

Some preferred to use up the coupons they had first, while others - mostly the elderly - said they would use the app only when coupons are phased out altogether.

The government agencies have not said when this will happen.

Mr Eugene Tay, 27, a director of a trading firm, said it was easy to navigate the app. Motorists need only key in payment and vehicle details once. But he said his elderly parents, who do not own smartphones, will still have to rely on coupons.

The Parking.sg app, developed by government agency GovTech, can be used at some 1,100 carparks, including those managed by the Housing Board, Urban Redevelopment Authority and JTC Corporation.

Between 1,000 and 5,000 Android phone users have downloaded the app from the Google Play store. The Apple store does not publicly track the number of downloads.

The app, announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year's National Day Rally as part of Singapore's Smart Nation drive, will eventually see the parking coupon phased out.

Motorists say the app offers many advantages over parking coupons, which were introduced in the 1980s.

"It also saves the time needed to tear out the coupons, as I can simply key my parking duration into the phone and hit the start button when I'm already out of the car," she said.

Accountant Vanessa Tan, 40, said the app saves drivers the hassle of buying parking coupon booklets.

With the app, drivers also need not worry about rushing back to the car to tear out tabs from a fresh coupon if they have to park for a longer time, said 39-year-old insurance agent Sasi Kumar.

The app will alert motorists when their parking sessions are about to expire and give them the choice to extend their sessions remotely.

For now, the Parking.sg app can be used only for cars and light goods vehicles.

The scheme will be extended to motorcycles and heavy vehicles by the year end.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2017, with the headline 'Parking app easy to use, say drivers, but not all are keen'. Print Edition | Subscribe