PETALING Jaya will have a new parking system implemented citywide once the services of current parking concessionaire Godell Parking Sdn Bhd are terminated.
Discussions are still ongoing between both parties but Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain has confirmed that Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will take back the management of the parking system.
He said the council had engaged a lawyer and they were going through the paperwork.
He disclosed that a letter of demand seeking payment of arrears was sent early this year and Godell had offered to pay half the amount, which MBPJ said was unacceptable.
It was previously reported that there were over 700 parking machines in the city to cater to about 21,000 public parking bays, but today, more than half of them are faulty.
For every bay, the parking concessionaire is supposed to pay a monthly rental of RM37.45 to the local council.
“A decision will be made at the full board meeting later this month as we need to get the approval of the full board on this matter,” said Mohd Azizi.
When contacted, Godell declined to comment on the issue.
In the meantime, MBPJ is working on implementing a new parking system to replace the current coin machines once the existing contract is terminated.
MBPJ plans to implement the parking coupon system first as this method can be rolled out easily.
“All we have to do is engage retail shops in commercial areas to be our official coupon agents.
“Motorists just have to buy the coupons and scratch out the cards to display on the dashboard,” said the mayor.
He said the Treasury Department was working out the cost for implementing the parking coupon display system.
Mohd Azizi said the coupon system was chosen because it was easy to implement on a short-term basis.
They are also looking at allowing motorists to pay using mobile parking apps.
A check at commercial areas such as SS2, PJ Old Town, Section 52 and Sunwaymas Commercial Centre recently found many of the parking machines there were not functioning properly.
“Some machines accepted the coins but did not issue any ticket.
“The parking duration on the screen of some machines stays the same even though you put in extra coins to extend the time,” said Section 1B Old Town Rukun Tetangga chairman Kok Kuan Yong.
He said most parking meters in the Old Town commercial area were faulty and it was a hassle for motorists to walk around looking for a machine that worked.
“The machines along the whole of Jalan 1/12 are damaged and only one or two along Jalan Othman are working,” he said, adding that he had lodged numerous complaints at MBPJ.
Kok was glad to hear that there would finally be a new parking management system in Petaling Jaya and welcomed the idea of using parking coupons as these were more convenient and safer for motorists.
Section 14 (Jalan 14/1-14/15) Residents Association chairman Selve Sugumaran Perumal said it was difficult to find a parking machine in working condition in Section 52.
“The machines there are always faulty and not serviced regularly,,” he said.
Gasing Indah Rukun Tetangga chairman Eric Chew said many residents were upset and frustrated over the faulty machines mostly located in busy commercial hubs in the city.
“MBPJ should introduce the parking coupon system soon because even if the coin machine is faulty, motorists have the option to use coupons.
“There should be no more excuses for not paying for parking at council bays,” he said.
Over in SS2, resident Chris Low said there was a day where he went to five parking machines and not a single one was working, adding that he gave up after that even though he was worried about getting summoned.
Idaman Ara Damansara Residents Association chairman Albert Lau urged the local council to ensure better management of the machines rather than introduce a new parking system.
“I prefer the coin machines where you just pay as you park, there is no upfront payment involved which would be the case with parking coupons.
“It is also an inconvenience to visitors and those who are not from the city who will have to purchase the coupon booklet although it is only a one-off visit,” he pointed out.
In Shah Alam, residents have three choices in parking payment methods – coupon, parking machine and a mobile application called Flexi Parking that was introduced early this year.
“Users do not have to search for parking meters or even coupons and they do not have to rush out to top up their parking ticket if their appointment drags on,” said Shah Alam City Council Corporate Communications head Shahrin Ahmad.
To-date there are over 7,000 users registered on the app.
Enforcement officers on patrol are equipped with smartphones to check if the vehicle owner has paid the parking fee and if the amount is sufficient.
Other councils using the mobile parking app in Selangor are Sepang Municipal Council, Kuala Langat District Council and Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has been using the parking coupon system since they took back parking management from a concessionaire in 2011.
“We have over 560 vendors licensed to sell the coupons throughout the town and we have received positive feedback since this change took place,” said MPK Corporate Communications director Norfiza Mahfiz.
She said motorists were pleased that they no longer had to search for a parking machine or look for coins.
“The complaints about faulty parking meters and other parking woes have reduced a lot since we implemented the coupon system,” she noted.
After parking coupons were introduced towards the end of 2011, enforcement officers issued only about 60,000 compound notices related to parking offences, compared to more than 143,000 compounds in the previous year.