Track Park & Ride users to prevent misuse

As a user of the Park & Ride scheme, I agree that the 26-year-old initiative is long overdue for some tweaks ("Tweak Park & Ride scheme to discourage misuse" by Mr Douglas Chua Hock Lye; Tuesday, and "End of the road for Park & Ride scheme?"; last Friday).

The main objective of the scheme was to encourage motorists to park their cars outside the Central Business District (CBD) and take a bus or train to their office.

One would expect the user to work in the CBD and take a bus or train there after parking his car.

Unfortunately, the current set-up tracks neither of these. Doing away with the "ride" component would not help either.

A change in the carparks available and the application of data analytics will go a long way to ensure a healthy take-up rate and reduce misuse.

Carparks with low take-up rates should be removed so as to increase the utilisation rate at other carparks.

There also should not be any Park & Ride carpark within the CBD, with the boundaries being Orchard, Lavender and Outram MRT stations.

To prevent misuse, checks should be conducted on applicants to ensure they are working in the CBD. Applications can be rejected if this is found to be not the case.

Users' travel cards can also be tracked. If there are suspicious patterns in terms of timing and location of entry to and exit from train stations, these users' reapplications for the scheme can be rejected.

With these tweaks, we can reduce misuse and, at the same time, cater to the needs of commuters who genuinely appreciate the scheme.

Tok Choon Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2016, with the headline 'Track Park & Ride users to prevent misuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe