Sat, 31 May 2003

No voucher system on holidays

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Parking attendants on Jl. Haji Agus Salim did not use personal digital assistants (PDAs) and vouchers when collecting parking fees on Friday.

An attendant told The Jakarta Post that there was an agreement to only use the gadgets on workdays, and that on public holidays and Sundays parking fees were to be paid in cash.

Meanwhile, Kunto Wibisono, spokesperson for PT Adiwira Sembada, the administration's partner in operating the voucher system, told the Post that it had been agreed that the PDAs would be used seven days a week.

"Field operators have violated the agreement. We will report this violation to their superiors in the city's parking agency. We question their commitment," he said.

The pilot project of a new parking system, which started on May 28, is part of the administration's effort to maximize income from parking fees.

On the first day of the project, the parking attendants appeared to be unfamiliar with their gadgets, and some motorists refused to cooperate until senior officials explained the new system to them.

The project will also be applied, on June 2, on Jl. Bulevar Raya, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta; Jl. Jatinegara Timur, East Jakarta; Jl. Gajah Mada, West Jakarta; and Jl. Raden Patah, South Jakarta.

Some people have criticized the system, saying the scheme will not ease the capital's traffic woes as planned and had little hope of succeeding where other parking systems had failed.

Many critics say the administration should impose a policy that would significantly reduce the number of cars plying the streets, instead of applying a system encouraging on-street parking that would worsen traffic problems.