National Day Rally 2017: Parking goes coupon-free from October with mobile app

The parking.sg app.
The parking.sg app.PHOTO: MCI

SINGAPORE - Motorists will be able to use coupon-free parking from October, when the mobile app Parking.sg becomes available for download.

The app - developed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Housing Board and GovTech - will replace the use of paper coupons at about 1,150 carparks, including kerbside parking spaces.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 20), said: "It will save motorists a lot of unnecessary parking hassles."

Making people's lives more convenient is a key strategic goal of Singapore's Smart Nation push, which Mr Lee said is all about taking full advantage of technology.

For instance, the app will no more require motorists to avoid a summons by rushing to their cars to put new coupons if they need to park for a longer period.

It will also prevent overpaying. With the paper coupon system now in place, motorists pay 60 cents for 30-minute blocks; motorists who park for less than 30 minutes do not pay less.

With the Parking.sg app,they pay for only what they use.

Charges will be calculated on a per-minute basis, with refunds given if motorists park for a shorter period than they initially intended to.

Payment will also be cashless. Motorists just need to key in their vehicle number, select the carpark and indicate their intended parking duration. They can also extend their parking sessions remotely.

Mr Lee said even though Singapore boasts a world-class Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, and many Singaporeans are savvy with smartphones, motorists are still tearing out parking coupons for the last 40 years.

 

He said: "Dozens of other cities have parking apps. Why don't we?"

A month-long trial for Parking.sg took place in May and involved 2,300 public officers and nearly 100 public carparks.

Since then, it has been upgraded to include a new alert feature to warn users before their parking session expires.

Paper parking coupons will still be in use but will eventually be phased out.

Parking.sg will pave the way for the next-generation satellite Electronic Road Pricing system, which is expected to be introduced in 2020. Satellites will monitor vehicles to calculate road usage and parking fees, and charge motorists electronically, saving on enforcement costs.