Parking fees for schools

Unfair to charge HDB rates

Educational institutions will soon be charging for parking on their premises after the Auditor-General's Office faulted them for allowing their staff to park for free or for charging fees below the market rate (All polys to charge HDB parking rates, July 29; ITE staff must pay for parking from October; July 28).

It would be unfair to charge full HDB parking rates of $80 for surface spaces and $110 for sheltered spaces a month in educational institutions.

HDB carparks are accessible 24/7, while those in educational institutions usually have limited hours.

Staff also need not use their workplace carparks on weekends, public holidays and when they are on leave.

It would be fairer to charge staff a reduced pro-rated rate instead.

An equitable formula may be to take the HDB rate and apply a 2 per cent discount, in line with the rebate given by the HDB to those who pay by Giro.

This amount can be multiplied by 12 months, then divided by 365 days to get a daily rate. Then, it can be multiplied by 22 days, which is the average number of working days a month.

This would result in parking rates of about $57 for surface spaces and $78 for sheltered spaces a month.

Perhaps an initiative can be launched to look at manpower deployment. Staff could be assigned to institutions nearer their home, for example, deploying a teacher to a school near her home.

This will reduce the travelling distance and time, and fewer staff would see a need to drive to work.

Actively encouraging car-pooling and allowing staff to accept paid rides from colleagues will also go a long way to reduce the driving population.

Irene Tan Swee Huang (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2017, with the headline 'Unfair to charge HDB rates'. Print Edition | Subscribe