Sat, 18 Mar 2000

New parking fees to be imposed ahead of plan

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration announced on Friday it would increase parking fees beginning Thursday, instead of April 1 as originally planned.

Head of the City Parking Agency Yani Mulyadi, who made the announcement after meeting with Governor Sutiyoso, gave no reason for the decision to move the date forward.

The increase was deemed necessary to make the system more effective, Yani said, "We want to give motorists better service."

The agency, which has been widely criticized by the public for inefficiency, has been running at a huge deficit.

Under the new system, the agency will charge two different rates: either Rp 500 or Rp 1,000 per vehicle depending on the location which will be determined by the density of users.

The current official parking fee is Rp 300 for all types of parking lots.

Yani said public complaints could be addressed through a hotline service on 021-4757416, or to PO BOX 2001 Jakarta.

The agency is also considering selling parking tickets in advance, sparing motorists from having to pay cash, Yani said.

The agency has been experimenting with the new parking system called "Operasi Raih Simpati" (Sympathy Garnering Operation) at six locations: the National Monument (Monas), Jl. H. Agus Salim in Central Jakarta, Jl. Jatinegara Timur in East Jakarta, Jl. Pluit Sakti Raya in North Jakarta, the Blok M shopping area in South Jakarta and along the West Jakarta portion of Jl. Gajah Mada.

At these locations, the agency has installed traffic signs, a service post and information posters. All parking attendants wear the agency's brown uniform.

The agency has abandoned the idea of using fee collectors as well as parking attendants.

Starting on Thursday, the trial area will be broadened to 15 locations: around Pasar Baru, Jl.Gajah Mada, Jl. Hayam Wuruk and Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto in Central Jakarta; Jl. Hayam Wuruk in West Jakarta; Mayestik and Jl. Hasanudin in South Jakarta; Jl. Matraman in East Jakarta; and along Kelapa Gading Boulevard in North Jakarta.

With the increase, the agency hopes to collect Rp 16 billion in the fiscal year beginning April 1, compared to Rp 6 billion estimated for the 1999/2000 fiscal year.

However, the agency's expenditure will increase significantly in the coming year to Rp 14 billion to pay the salaries of its 3,179 employees, including 2,129 parking attendants, and for staff uniforms.

The agency spent Rp 9 billion in the outgoing fiscal year, therefore requiring a Rp 3 billion subsidy from the city administration to cover its operations.

Governor Sutiyoso, noting that too many people were involved in its operations, urged the agency to strive for efficiency.

Councillor Saud Rahman doubted that the system would be more effective, noting that some parking attendants were asking for Rp 500 per vehicle even before the increase.

"With the new fee, I'm afraid the attendants will ask drivers to pay only Rp 500 without giving them parking tickets," he added.

Yani called on the public to insist on getting parking receipts -- something many motorists often ignore -- to help the parking agency prevent leaks.

Since February, the agency has fired three staff members and disciplined 11 others for abusing their authority, Yani said. (09)