GEORGE TOWN, July 26 — Motorists here can expect an easier time finding open parking bays in the state once the RM115 million Penang Smart Parking (PSP) system is officially available next month.
Under the PSP system, subscribed drivers will be notified of available public parking spots through a smartphone app that will also accept e-wallet fare payments.
Local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the PSP system was a private finance initiative (PFI) and did not cost the state to implement.
“We will launch the pilot PSP system in the heritage city of George Town next month before it is rolled out to the whole state in phases,” he said during his speech at a briefing on the PSP system in Komtar this morning.
He said the state has a total 36,000 parking lots with 12,000 on the island and the rest on the mainland.
“It will take about a year to install the PSP system for all of the lots so, to start, about 650 lots in George Town were identified as the first phase,” he said.
“The app will also allow for easier enforcement action as it will send a notification if the user did not pay for the parking,” he said.
The project was awarded through open tender to Heitech Padu Berhad who beat 60 other competitors.
The company was given a seven-year concession starting from May this year.
“It is a five plus two years concession that encompassed management, maintenance, enforcement, collection of revenue and operations for both local councils,” he said.
The first five years, Heitech will get 65 per cent of revenue while the rest goes to the local council, before going to 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, in the next two.
Jagdeep said the arrangement was fair as the firm was fronting all associated installation and operation costs, with Heitech Padu expected to break even before the fifth year.
The PSP system will be rolled out to all 36,000 parking lots in the state by August next year.
“We have decided to maintain parking rates at 40 sen per hour on the mainland and 80 sen per hour on the island,” he said.
Monthly parking passes will also remain at RM150 under the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and RM75 under the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).
As for the existing parking coupons, he said these will still be available until December 31 this year and the coupons will be valid until December 31 next year.
Parking coupon agents may continue selling these under the PSP system by switching to e-coupons from September onwards in stages, he said.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is expected to launch the PSP system on August 18, after which the app will be available to the public.