All polys to charge HDB parking rates

The Institute of Technical Education on Thursday announced that all its staff will need to pay for parking according to HDB rates from October.
The Institute of Technical Education on Thursday announced that all its staff will need to pay for parking according to HDB rates from October.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Staff must pay for parking from Oct; teachers in schools may lose privilege too

All five polytechnics here will start charging staff for parking on their premises from October according to HDB carpark rates.

This means season parking will be at $80 for surface spaces and $110 for sheltered spaces a month.

The news follows the Institute of Technical Education's announcement on Thursday that all its staff will need to pay for parking, using the same HDB benchmark.

Currently, some of the polytechnics give their staff free parking or charged them subsidised rates.

The new parking rates are to comply with the Public Service's clean wage policy, following the Audit- General's Office report two years ago which found that some educational institutions did not impose charges or imposed below market rate charges for use of their carparks.

Mr Liew Hui Sing, Singapore Polytechnic's aeronautical engineering course chair who drives to work, said: "People who work in the public sector also have to pay for parking.

 
  • Current parking rates for poly staff

  • SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC

    • Capped at $1.50 per day.

    • Free for motorcyclists.

  • TEMASEK POLYTECHNIC

    • Capped at $1.50 per day.

    • $0.65 per entry for motorcyclists.

  • NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC

    • Season parking is $30 per month for surface parking spaces and $50 per month. for sheltered spaces.

    • Free for motorcyclists.

  • REPUBLIC POLYTECHNIC

    • Capped at $3 per day, or not more than $70 per month.

  • NANYANG POLYTECHNIC

    • Free for almost all unsheltered and sheltered spaces.

"We will just take this in our stride. We're also paying for the comfort of driving in our cars and parking on the premises."

With these changes, transport experts said that teachers in public schools face the prospect of paying for parking in their school compounds soon.

Dr Lee Der Horng, a National University of Singapore transport researcher, said: "Since they have already implemented this in the polytechnics and ITE, it will be difficult to justify it if they do not include the other schools as well."

A Ministry of Education spokesman said yesterday that car park charges for schools are being reviewed in accordance with civil service guidelines.

A primary school teacher, who declined to be named, said: "I hope we will not be charged since many of us are in the school for as long as 10 hours or more from 7am."

But others understood the rationale. Another primary school teacher said: "If you choose to drive in Singapore, you have to be prepared to pay the price. People from other companies have been doing it all this while, so we shouldn't complain."

Both teachers drive to work.

Dr Walter Theseira, economist and senior lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences,said: "Charging (for parking) also discourages driving so that people try to find other transport options. It's something that city governments aim for.

"From the perspective of fairness, everyone else pays for parking and if you subsidise drivers by letting them park free, how about those using public transport? It's not fair because not everyone drives to school."

However, Dr Lee also noted that a teacher's situation should also be taken into account.

"The hours that they work make it understandable that they prefer to drive and then need a place to park," he said. "We don't have to fix a certain rate across the board. It can be flexible for each school, depending on the situation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2017, with the headline 'All polys to charge HDB parking rates'. Print Edition | Subscribe