Find and pay for parking with new feature on mobile app

A new feature on the OneService mobile app will now make it easier to find parking and pay for it.

The app, launched by the Municipal Services Office in 2015, allows residents to report municipal issues without having to figure out which government agencies to approach.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu announced the new OS App 4.0 yesterday at the closing ceremony of the three-day inaugural OneService Innovation Challenge (OSIC).

With the "Find Parking" module on the app, motorists can locate public and commercial carparks at their destination and get information such as parking rates, space availability and operating hours. For the current beta version, the feature also captures height restrictions of HDB Electronic Parking System carparks and selected commercial carparks.

Users can also pay their parking charges at HDB and URA coupon carparks through the "Start Parking" module without leaving the app. These payments will be processed directly through Parking.sg.

Ms Fu said: "I'm sure this is something many drivers will appreciate." She added: "We want OneService to be more than a reporting tool. We want it to be informing (and) engaging residents and soliciting ideas from the community."

Users of the OneService app can pay their parking charges at HDB and URA coupon carparks through the "Start Parking" module.
Users of the OneService app can pay their parking charges at HDB and URA coupon carparks through the "Start Parking" module. PHOTO: ONESERVICE APP

The new user interface of OS App 4.0 will allow new features to be introduced, such as involving the community in the upkeep of their neighbourhood and seeking feedback on local improvement projects.

Some of these new features could very well be from the top ideas at OSIC 2018. The event saw 120 participants working in 29 teams on prototype ideas and new services to improve the app's user experience.

For example, one idea was to include a map for all the recycling bins across the country.

The challenge's top prize of $4,000 went to IT engineer Jeffrey Lau, 38, and his wife, human resource executive Gloria Er, 37. Their team included their sons - Gabriel, nine, and Benjamin, eight. The couple also have a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter.

The team proposed a feature for the app that would let users upload a 360-degree video when making a report. This would allow the app to more accurately pinpoint the location of the reported defect or issue.

Ms Er said the contest seemed a fun thing for the family to do over a weekend. Her son Gabriel is also interested in programming and can do some basic coding.

"The challenge to improve the app was something real and relatable, and a way to show our children how technology can be used in everyday life and actually help the community," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2018, with the headline 'Find and pay for parking with new feature on mobile app'. Print Edition | Subscribe