THE parking fees for the private parking lots along Jalan Dang Wangi in Kuala Lumpur have doubled.
The parking spaces are close to shopping centres such as Sogo and Campbell Complex, as well as Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Masjid India, areas which are well-known for good deals on clothing, home decorations and food items for Hari Raya.
A motorist who only wanted to be known as Tom, said three of the four open-air parking lot operators had increased their rates for the festive season.
“I usually pay RM5 per entry, but now I need to fork out RM12! All the operators look like they have made a pact to increase their rates together,” he said.
Tom said the rate at the spot where he usually parked had increased for the third time in the last two months.
“I feel that the increase is made according to their whims and fancies.
“The parking rate was increased to RM7 during the recent school holidays and then to RM10 at the start of Ramadan. Now, they are charging RM12, citing Hari Raya as the reason. Vans are charged RM20 per entry.
“The drastic increase may be affordable for shoppers who do not come every day, but I work here and depend on getting a spot at the parking lots nearby. Sometimes, I am in the office for only a couple of hours, but I still need to pay the full amount.
“I notice that since the steep increase, the parking lots are less crowded. Many are going for cheaper options nearby,” he said.
A check by StarMetro on Thursday found three parking lot operators had imposed a flat rate of between RM10 and RM15 per entry. One parking lot operator used to charge RM3 per hour (with a maximum cap of RM9) while two others charged either RM5 or RM6, depending on the time of entry. All three parking lots looked almost full.
Another shopper, S. Daniel, said the parking operators told him that charges varied according to the period.
“I went to the area last month, which coincided with the Sogo members’ day sale, and I found the parking rates there had increased. The operator told me that this was the usual practice.
“I find it very unfair to those working in the area because usually, the rate is cheaper, at only RM5 per entry if they enter by 10am,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said they were aware of such practices and the need to monitor the exorbitant rates.
“There was a committee of private operators to review the proposed rates that had been announced by the then Federal Territories And Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin,” he said.
StarMetro reported on Jan 16 last year about Nong Chik imposing a ceiling for parking rates in the city.
Nong Chik said the ceiling for flat rate parking in the city centre was from RM5 to RM10, subject to a maximum charge of not more than RM20 per day, failing which, DBKL would revoke the operators’ licences if they did not follow the new rates by mid-April last year.
All vehicles parked had a grace period of 15 minutes.
He added that under the city centre zone, parking rates for the first hour by operators who charge per hour is RM3 to RM6 (building category), RM3 to RM5 (open areas), RM4 to RM8 (hotels) and RM3 to RM6 (other areas).
The mayor added, “I need to check on this because until today, there has been no counter proposal from the committee.
“It is very sad that such a practice — taking advantage of shoppers during the festive season — is being done”.