Parking fee hike ‘unfair’

(from left) Liew, Syazwan, Ng and Angie, holding up the petition.

THE tenants of Publika in Kuala Lumpur are unhappy over the 100% hike in the maximum parking fee per day, as this affects the people who work in the building.

Publika announced through Facebook on July 14 that the parking rate at Solaris Dutamas/Publika will be increased to a maximum of RM20 per day starting from July 15 because there are insufficient parking bays for visitors.

“Many park their cars for the whole day to do errands somewhere else with the current maximum parking fee of RM10.

“This is troublesome for other visitors to Solaris Dutamas.

“By implementing the new rate, we are expecting higher traffic turnover so that visitors have a better chance to park at Solaris Dutamas/Publika,” the announcement read.

Additionally, to reduce the burden on tenants of Solaris Dutamas, an “early bird rate at RM13 per day” was introduced for those entering the carpark between 5am and 9am, but only at Basement 6 and Basement 7.

Impact Communications managing partner and senior consultant Angie Ruby M. said before the hike, if they worked eight hours a day or more, they would need to pay up to only RM10 per day.

“Now, we would have to pay up to RM20 a day. That is a 100% increase,” she said.

She also questioned the early bird rate.

“Who comes to work at 5am?

“Also, sometimes we have meetings outside in the morning before coming in to the office,” she said, adding that shoppers were also affected.

RE&S procurement manager Jannyfer Ng said Publika did not send a notice to the tenants or even put up a notice at each block.

“For each office lot, we only receive two seasons passes.

“The rest would have to pay the normal rates on their own.

“Now, they have to fork out an average of RM400 a month,” she said, adding that most of them only knew of the new rates a week before its implementation.

A lawyer from Aniza Vargehese and Partners, Syazwan Syazani Zahrullail, said they started a petition objecting to the new rates at the request of other tenants and to collect signatures.

“We submitted the first round of 127 signatures to the carpark management on the same day they were collected on July 14,” he said.

He said they were confident they would be able to collect more signatures.

“When we went around asking for signatures, many were shocked and did not know about it,” he said, adding that the management had yet to respond to their petition.

A senior hairstylist at Tezzer Saloon, Kelvin Liew Yee Jin said their income had decreased since the implementation as fewer customers, including regular ones, were walking in now.

“Many of them complained to us that the rate was too expensive.

“They said they might as well go to places like Pavilion,” he said.

When contacted, Publika advertising and promotions deputy general manager Alex Yong said previous parking charges were RM2 for the first three hours and RM2 per subsequent hour, up to a maximum of RM10 per day.

With the new charges, it has been revised to RM1 for the first hour, RM1 for the second hour and RM2 per hour for subsequent hours, up to a maximum of RM20.

“Previously, assuming that most office workers spend nine hours at work, he or she would pay RM10.

“With the revised charges, they would pay RM16.

“This is actually an increase of RM6 or 60%.

“We did not increase the parking charges by 100% but capped the maximum per entry day charges from RM10 to RM20,” he said.

As for the notice, he said it was pasted at the carpark management office, at the entrances of the carparks and also at the autopay parking machines from July 3.

He said they found instances of people parking their cars for the whole day to either attend to their business at the Kuala Lumpur High Court or the Immigration Department, both of which were located nearby.

He also said for tenants who need a monthly season pass, they were offering the parking bays at Solaris Mont Kiara, which comes with a free shuttle bus service to and from Solaris Dutamas from 7.45am to 8pm (15-minute intervals during peak hours) at RM170 per month.

“The maximum per day parking charges at Solaris Mont Kiara is also RM10.

“Tenants can apply for the season pass card at Solaris Dutamas Carpark Management Office, Basement 2, Block D1 or call 03-6205 5386,” he said.

He said they had done a survey of the rates around the Mont Kiara area and submitted the revised rates to Kuala Lumpur City Hall for approval before implementing the revision.

“The exercise was done after careful consideration as we do not want to burden visitors as well as office workers at Solaris Dutamas,” he said.

Yong said they would continue to monitor the situation in order to strike a balance between serving the interests of the office and retail tenants as well as shoppers.

He said the two-pronged strategy was working well.

“We are seeing Basement 6 and 7 areas being filled up early in the morning before 9am. These office workers enjoy an early bird parking fee of only up to a maximum of RM13 per day.

“This has also freed up parking lots at Levels UG, G1 and G2 to allow shoppers or those wanting to have meetings with tenants of Solaris Dutamas access to parking,” he said.

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