Wed, 07 May 2003

New parking system set to start on May 26

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A pilot project for a new on-street parking system is to be launched on May 26 in five locations across the city despite potential problems that may arise from its implementation.

One of the problems would be standardization of the amount to be paid monthly to the parking attendants.

Under the current system a parking attendant could earn up to Rp 1.5 million a month (approximately US$176), while under the new system. payment would be based on the provincial minimum wage (UMP) norm of about Rp 640,000 a month.

Mudakir, executive officer of the city's parking agency, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that the minimum wage would not be enough to cover the parking attendants daily costs. Therefore he hoped their wages would not be far from their current income.

However, he admitted that the current income of the attendants was a result of "irregularities", which the agency did nothing about based on humanity considerations.

"According to the regulations, parking attendants get 25 percent of the parking revenue. In practice, they submit the 25 percent and keep the rest to cover their living costs," he said.

Kunto Wibisono, vice-general manager of the pilot project operator, PT Adiwira Sembada, told the Post that the attendants wages would be adjusted accordingly based on UMP.

He said that another issue could arise was the administrative problems in the city's bureaucracy.

He said that his company had difficulties in another joint project off-street parking, because the city administration kept delaying their payment, which was supposed to be used to cover operational costs.

A similar difficulty was likely to also happen in the on- street project, which in the end would disturb operations, he said.

However, he was optimistic that he could meet the city administration's target by the end of this year. The new system will be applied across Jakarta, on the condition that the parking agency is disciplined in performing its supervising role and most of all, in enforcing the law.

The new system was criticized by activists saying the scheme would not ease the capital's traffic woes and had little hope of succeeding where other parking systems had failed.

The project is a joint cooperation between the city administration and a firm PT Adiwira Sembada that was appointed by the city administration.

The pilot project, which is worth US$500,000, is to train 180 parking attendants, equip them with 200 ready-for-use portable electronic parking machines, and launch the system in five locations: Jl. Agus Salim in Central Jakarta, Jl. Raden Patah in South Jakarta, Jl. Jatinegara Timur in East Jakarta, Jl. Bulevar Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta and Jl. Gajah Mada in West Jakarta.

These five locations are part of the 434 official on-street parking lots in the city, besides another 87 unofficial on-street parking areas, reportedly run by thugs.

There would be a simulation of the project in the parking agency head office, Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan, East Jakarta, on May 20.

Kunto said car owners would be required to purchase parking cards of varying prices. Motorists will give the cards to parking attendants, who will use portable electronic parking machines to register them. Parking fees will be automatically deducted from the cards, depending on how long their cars are parked.