Reason for scheme still valid

The free parking at selected Housing Board carparks on Sundays and public holidays was introduced for a good reason - to encourage family get-togethers (Time to reconsider free parking at HDB carparks, Mr Francis Cheng; July 29).

It is inevitable that some people will take advantage of the free parking and use it for purposes other than visiting relatives.

But it would be myopic to scrap the scheme for this reason, especially if the original objective is still largely intact and families still visit one another.

As for the costs incurred from the free parking scheme, I am sure the HDB has done its sums, so it is unnecessary for us to worry for it and question its prudence.

Its impact on a car-lite Singapore also should not be unduly exaggerated.

Being car-lite does not mean we have to make car ownership extremely painful with excessively punitive measures.

Let us not forget that car ownership still remains an aspiration for some Singaporeans. For others, owning a car is a necessity, not a luxury.

Singaporeans are largely a pragmatic lot. If the public transport infrastructure is comprehensively developed, and it makes economic sense to opt for this mode of commuting, they will do so.

We cannot have a price tag for every service or facility that we use.

Otherwise, by the same token, shouldn't we also pay for the use of public parks, cycling tracks and so on?

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2017, with the headline 'Reason for scheme still valid'. Print Edition | Subscribe