Gantry-free carpark trial extended to Old Airport Road

Since Sept 14, the open-air carpark and multi-storey carpark in Old Airport Road have been operating without gantry barriers at the entrance and exit. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Two carparks near the Old Airport Road Food Centre are the latest to trial a barrierless parking system by the Housing Board, the first outside of Punggol.

Since Wednesday, the open-air carpark and multi-storey carpark in Old Airport Road have been operating without gantry barriers at the carpark entrance and exit.

Vehicle number plates are registered by cameras instead as they enter and leave the carparks.

The smart system, Parking@HDB, allows visitors who are parking short term to have the option of paying the charges via credit or debit card through the Parking@HDB app, which also sends out alerts at the start and end of each parking session.

The system has been introduced at six other carparks since January last year, all in Punggol.

HDB said that since the trials began in Punggol Northshore, close to two million parking transactions have been processed.

"With Parking@HDB, motorists experienced at least 16 per cent time savings entering and exiting the carparks as they do not have to wait for the gantry barrier to be raised, especially during peak hours," it said.

HDB said 90 per cent of feedback from motorists is about delays due to gantry barriers.

With the app, users get the correct fee automatically deducted when exiting the carpark, without having to manually activate the app or use a CashCard in the in-vehicle unit (IU).

For those who do not have the app, charges will be deducted from the CashCard in the IU.

HDB said that of the 21,000 motorists who use the app, 20 per cent who park short term paid their parking charges via the app, while the remaining 80 per cent paid using CashCard.

Vehicle number plates are registered by cameras instead as they enter and leave the carparks. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The multi-storey carpark in Old Airport Road also has colour-coded LED overhead indicators installed above every parking space to signal space availability.

Green indicates availability for short-term parking, while amber means the space is reserved for season parking. A blue LED means the space is reserved for people with physical disabilities.

The light indicator will be switched off for occupied spaces, and will flash red when motorists park in an unauthorised space.

Smart cameras are installed at the smart carparks to detect illegal parking.

Those who park in unauthorised spaces will receive an alert on the app informing them to move their vehicles.

They will face a fine if they do not do so.

The multi-storey carpark in Old Airport Road also has colour-coded LED overhead indicators to signal space availability. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Those without the app will receive an SMS alert from HDB.

If their mobile numbers are not registered with HDB, the system will send out an alert for enforcement action.

"This will allow for automated enforcement around the clock to ensure more orderly parking that benefits both motorists and residents," HDB said, adding that illegal parking at the trial carparks dipped by about 60 per cent due to the in-app alerts.

HDB said motorists who download the app will get free parking for their first three sessions at the eight carparks.

It will evaluate and fine-tune the pilots before extending the scheme to other carparks.

A motorist who wanted to be known only as Mr Pang, 52, said the smart system in Punggol was confusing at first.

“After I downloaded the app, everything was seamless.

“But since cars do not need to queue to enter, there were many cars in the carpark looking for a lot, which made parking more stressful,” said Mr Pang, who works in the aviation sector.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.