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    Jun 23, 2016

    Public parking prices under review

    A GOVERNMENT review on public parking prices is under way, in a move that is set to raise prices at all public carparks.

    The Housing Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) both confirmed yesterday that an islandwide review of both short-term and season parking schemes is in the works.

    This comes just two months after the Ministries of National Development and Transport said in Parliament that parking rates would go up, to bring Singapore in line with other global cities.

    URA said its review is meant to "right price public carpark charges and reduce the gap between the fees charged by private and public carparks", adding that the quantum of increase was being studied.

    It noted that in some areas in the Central Business District, the difference between private and public hourly parking prices during peak periods was over 100 per cent.

    Meanwhile, the HDB pointed out that its carparks have improved over the years, with amenities such as landscaped decks, electronic parking systems and lifts.

    But both agencies noted that the last price revision was in 2002, when short-term parking prices increased about 10 per cent. Carparking charges in the Restricted Zone (RZ) rose from 90 cents to $1 per half-hour, and from 45 cents to 50 cents per half-hour outside the RZ.

    "Since then, the costs of managing and operating carparks have increased substantially," said a URA spokesman. Before the 2002 review, prices were also hiked in 1993 and 1989. In all cases, the increase was over 10 per cent.

    The HDB is also studying differentiated season parking charges for non-residents who use HDB carparks, and those who own more than one car. It said differentiated rates could help manage demand, with priority given to a resident's first car.

    The HDB and URA manage 607,000 and 24,000 parking spaces respectively.

    Motorists hope prices would not increase beyond 10 per cent.

    "Already, we spend a substantial amount on our cars," said technopreneur Toh Kian Khai, 34.

    Parking policy expert Dr Paul Barter said a review was timely but recommended taking a more nuanced approach.

    Prices should be set based on the occupancy rate of carparks. Ideally, they should only be 85 per cent full at any one time so that there are always parking spaces available. Rates could be raised during peak periods and lowered in the off-peak, he added.

    "If it's too full, it's too cheap, and if it's too empty, it's too expensive," he said.