Wed, 07 May 2003

Parking attendants to be outfitted with PDAs

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Scheduled to be launched on May 26, Jakarta's new on-street parking system with 180 of its 2,900 parking attendants involved in unique pilot project wherein they will be equipped with hand- held computers worth Rp 17.15 million (approximately US$1990) each.

The city's new "tech-trendsetting" parking attendants will be positioned in five locations across the city in the initial phase, and armed with Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), specially modified for parking fee collection.

The PDAs will help the parking attendants collect parking fees electronically from motorists, so no cash would be needed in the transactions, an official said.

Kunto Wibisono, vice general manager of the system operator, PT Adiwira Sembada, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that all parking attendants on duty will be held responsible for the PDAs in their charge, including the memory card and 20-centimeter-long attached printer.

The company had in stock 200 ready-to-use PDAs along with the supporting equipment, he said.

He explained that the price would cover mostly the cost of the software, which, he claimed, was the first in the world.

"We are in the process of registering the patent for both the hardware and software," he said.

The use of the PDAs is limited to parking transactions only, including refills for parking cards. Kunto said, however, they had yet to determine the initial price of the parking cards or where they could be purchased.

Kunto said that to ensure optimum utilization of the PDAs, the parking attendants will be trained in their use this month.

He was optimistic that the city could expect a significant increase in city revenues because the use of PDAs would eliminate the possibility of embezzlement of the parking fees.

The system is planned for eventual application all over Jakarta, whose 2,900 parking attendants are also to be equipped with the same gadgets by the end of the year in order to collect parking fees at 14,992 parking spots across the city.