It’s 4:30 PM now and time is scarce for I need to leave at 5.00 PM.
And yet my editor drops me a bomb and asks of me nicely to complete another article.
Thankfully for us Singaporeans, the government is not like my unhelpful editor, BH, for they are going to help us with another scarcity issue.
That of limited parking spaces.
Smart Nation Drive and the new Parking Service
According to The New Paper (TNP):
“Finding open-air public parking will soon get easier for drivers here, with an upcoming digital service that will let them check the availability of spaces before reaching a parking lot.”
While a condensed sentence, it packs a lot of punch with keywords like “public parking”, “easier”, “availability” and “before reaching a parking lot.”
This service is one of several new initiatives Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Vivian Balakrishnan, announced yesterday in Parliament.
“This year, the Government Technology Agency, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Municipal Services Office will be trialling the installation of smart sensors so that we can provide real-time availability of kerbside parking lots to people who are looking for a lot,”
…Dr Balakrishnan, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs, said of the new service.
According to The Straits Times, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), which is part of the Prime Minister’s Office and is overseeing this new initiative, said that the new parking service will start by end June and it will be held for six months at the on-street parking lots Telok Ayer Street and Temple Street.
During the trial, TNP reports that: “motorists can access information on the availability of parking lots along these two streets via the URA website, and the existing “Find Parking” module in the OneService App, which allows people to report municipal issues like clogged drains.”
Basically, like an all-in-one app which has everything and can do anything.
Depending on the trials outcome, this service might eventually be incorporated into the Parking.sg app.
If you are wondering why Parking.SG is so familiar, it is by now a super-downloaded App which most, if not all motorists in Singapore have.
Among many things, “Parking.sg allows you to pay short-term parking charges through your mobile device at all existing coupon-based public car parks” and serves “as an alternative mode of payment to paper parking coupons.”
In fact, about 1.5 years on from its debut in October 2017, it has all but relegated parking coupons to being an archaic thing of the past.
What’s even better is that the app allows for per-minute billing rather than just 30 minutes block, which was the norm for parking coupons.