Tue, 08 Feb 2000

Complaints mark the initial debut of new parking system

JAKARTA (JP): Complaints over parking attendants' low daily income and improper parking arrangements marked the introduction of the new parking system in the city on Monday.

No clear guidelines were provided and at one trial location on Jl. Agus Salim in Central Jakarta, parking attendants were late receiving parking tickets from the collector.

Meanwhile, some drivers still paid Rp 500 (seven US cents) for the parking fee although the official fee now is Rp 300 as clearly printed on the ticket.

Contradictory to parking authorities' statements that the new system would increase the parking attendants' welfare, many attendants complained that they couldn't cover their daily expenses with a daily income of Rp 7,500 and an additional Rp 50 for every ticket they collected.

Muhamad, who has served as parking attendant since the 1970s, said it would be better if the attendants received their monthly salary.

"We feel secure with the monthly salary payment and do not need to pursue the target of earning Rp 15,000 per day."

"If the new system brings bad luck for attendants, it's better if the authorities return to the previous system as I could earn more than Rp 15,000 a day," Muhamad suggested.

Another attendant, Yan Usman, shared Muhamad's opinion.

"A daily wage of Rp 7,500 is illogical as my daily expenses are about Rp 6,000. I also have to save some money for my family," said Yan, who does other jobs to meet the family need.

Another attendant, Anji Mulya, denied that the attendants had anything to do with the agency's past inefficiency.

"We always fulfilled our daily target of Rp 15,000 for one side of the street. It was the agency's officials who took the money, not the parking attendants," he said.

He also dismissed the allegations that attendants asked more than the official fee of Rp 300.

"We never asked for more. It depends on the drivers, sometimes they even give me Rp 5,000. It's more like a tip," he said.

"Especially here, where we (attendants) and the shop owners know each other very well," he said.

The new street parking system is being imposed at the National Monument (Monas) parking lot and on Jl. Agus Salim in Central Jakarta, on Jl. Jatinegara Timur in East Jakarta, on Jl. Pluit Sakti Raya in North Jakarta, in Blok M parking areas in South Jakarta and on Jl. Gajah Mada in West Jakarta.

With the new system, drivers will be given a ticket when they park their cars. The ticket has three sections, one each for the driver, the attendant, and the collector.

Head of City Parking Agency Yani Mulyadi admitted that there were violations to the new system on the initial day of the trial period. He said parking attendants continued collecting money from drivers.

"The attendants are not allowed to receive money from the drivers. It's the collectors' duty to collect the parking fees," as quoted by Antara.

"Drivers should get the ticket when entering the parking areas and pay the fees while leaving. They must pay to the collectors, not to the attendants," he added.

Yani said he made an impromptu visit to six different spots to check the implementation of the new parking system.

"I saw at least two attendants violating the system at each spot. They received money from drivers although they knew it was forbidden," he said.

Yani said he gave them money intentionally to find whether they would take it or not.

"The mentality of the attendants is not great and it is difficult for them to change to the new system," he said.

He hinted that on Jl. Agus Salim the attendants asked for parking fees instead issuing the tickets.

"They didn't return the change when I gave them Rp 500; I should get change of Rp 200. That's why I was very angry," he said. The agency has explained the new system to more than 400 parking officials involved in the trial period, which is slated to end on March 31.

Separately, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Consumers Association (YLKI), Agus Pambagio criticized the implementation of the new system as premature and should be delayed until after thorough study.

"It is not easy to change people's attitude and ways of thinking, especially parking attendants, who come from low income origins.

I am sure that there will be confusion during implementation of the new system, as attendants who took advantage the previous system, may try to disturb it," he said. (ind/05)