Sat, 26 Apr 2003

`I doubt new parking system will work'

Next month, the city administration will implement a new parking system in which motorists have to use prepaid parking cards. The plan aims at reducing the amount of parking revenue that is lost annually due to corruption. Last year, the city targeted receiving Rp 32 billion from fees for vehicles parked on Jakarta's streets but the city administration reported only Rp 13 billion revenue. City residents told The Jakarta Post they were skeptical about the effectiveness of the new system.

Irawan, 36, is an employee at an international organization on Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta. He lives in Pondok Gede, East Jakarta, with his wife and two children:

I doubt that the new parking system will work. There are still a lot of parking attendants out there living hand-to-mouth.

As a car owner, I know for a fact that we take pity on parking attendants and give them a tip even though they don't ask for it.

If the new system is implemented, it means the parking attendants will get nothing but a monthly wage. I'm sure they will find other ways to get money from parking.

As a result, car owners will end up spending twice as much for parking: once for the card and then the parking attendants asking for tips.

Car owners are obligated to give money to unauthorized parking attendants. Otherwise, their vehicles will be scratched or damaged by thugs posing as attendants.

I think the city's parking system is very complicated as it involves thuggery and the needs of those who earn a low income. The real condition is not that simple, and the city administration should look into it.

Budi, 34, is an employee of a cafe on Jl. MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta. He resides in Depok, West Java, with his family:

The new parking system will only become a burden for city residents. We will no longer have any more free public facilities in the city.

Worse still, we won't get back what we pay out for parking. We don't feel secure about parking our vehicles in many areas of the city as there is no guarantee they will be safe, even if we pay out a lot for parking. I usually spend about Rp 15,000 a day just on parking. I have to pay more if I am working overtime.

The new system will not benefit motorists as we will have to give a lot more money to thugs or unauthorized parking attendants and then buy this new prepaid parking card.

Even if we park our cars in a building with a good parking system in place, we still have to give money to the parking attendants. So what's the use of imposing this system if it cannot quell motorists' fears about the safety of their vehicles?

Laila, 29, is an office employee in Radio Dalam, South Jakarta. She lives in Ciputat, Tangerang, with her family:

I think the city administration is too money-oriented. The ultimate goal for the new parking system is only to increase city revenue from parking. But on the other hand, it ignores public interest.

I guess the new parking system will only be effective if the government is willing to crack down on unauthorized parking attendants who, in a lot of cases, act more like thugs.

If this problem is not addressed, motorists will be stuck paying not only for these new cards but also for tips to the parking attendants.

-- Leo Wahyudi S