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Changi Village residents, businesses welcome high-rise mechanised parking system

SINGAPORE — Three high-rise mechanised parking systems built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to ease the parking crunch in older neighbourhoods are now up and running, with the latest in Changi Village having seen 5,400 parking transactions.

SINGAPORE — Three high-rise mechanised parking systems built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to ease the parking crunch in older neighbourhoods are now up and running, with the latest in Changi Village having seen 5,400 parking transactions.

Shop owners and eating establishments see better business as visitors are no longer put off by the lack of parking space.

The five-storey automated facility is located behind Block 1 on Changi Village Road, which began operations in December last year.

With the new system, there are now 304 parking lots, almost double the 183 lots it had previously. It is open to residents for season parking and short-term parking.

Two other similar carpark systems were open for season parking in January: One at Bangkit Road in Bukit Panjang which is 15-storeys high, and one at Yishun Avenue 4 which has 13 levels.

With the new facilities, Bangkit Road residents get 60 more carpark lots from its previous 311, while the Yishun residents get 22 more lots from its previous 224.

All three systems, part of a pilot project, cost about S$18 million.

To park, a motorist drives his or her vehicle into the assigned lift at the building, get out and lock the vehicle, then key an eight-digit passcode on a touchscreen panel outside the lift. To retrieve the vehicle, the motorist keys in the same passcode at the touchscreen panel located in the car retrieval and waiting area.

The HDB said it would evaluate the suitability of this automated system in Singapore before considering if it would implement it at other sites.

Dr Maliki Osman, Member of Parliament (East Coast GRC), who visited the Changi carpark system on Friday (Feb 19), said there is high traffic in Changi Village and residents and shop owners had said before that there were not enough parking lots to cater to the crowd. “So when this possibility of mechanised parking system came about, I was very excited,” he said.

The HDB said that motorists who used the mechanised parking systems during the off-peak periods took an average of about five minutes to park or retrieve their vehicles. During peak periods, and depending on the number of vehicles in the queue, the average time is between 10 and 15 minutes.

Its spokesperson said: “Compared to the past where surface carpark was the only parking option in Changi Village, this is a significant improvement.”

Before the opening at Changi Village, HDB conducted a two-month “comprehensive test” of the system. Residents and grassroot communities were invited to use the facility and give feedback, and the response was that they found it “simple, and easy to use”, it said.

Business owners there who spoke to TODAY said they have seen a 10- to 15-per-cent increase in business after the trial started last December.

Mr Jeremy Liew, who has run a shoe shop in Changi Village for 25 years, said in Mandarin: “This carpark made a good contribution to us. Last time, our customers told us there were not enough parking lots, so they don’t come here. Now, business has gone up by up to 15 per cent.”

Ms Chris See, 40, from Tekong Seafood Restaurant, said business has increased 15 per cent since last December. “We have more customers now, the restaurant is full-house on weekends and Fridays.”

While most motorists said the system is easy-to-use, some felt that the retrieval time for their vehicles could take some time. Engineer Firdaus Malek, 29, said he waited about 15 minutes to get back his car from the carpark.

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