A mobile app could soon replace parking coupons in Singapore

They should have implemented this years ago

Why do parking coupons even still exist?

Everything is available on mobile these days, including a multitude of payment services. There’s really no need for the draconian practice of perforating single-use paper coupons every 30 minutes just so you don’t get slapped with a fine.

That’s the question that probably came up when the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) had a sit-down together.

Which led to this flash of long-awaited brilliance — An application that allows motorists to pay for parking on their mobile phones. The app’s features also include allowing motorists to choose the parking duration or extend the parking session, payment via credit or debit card, and the calculation of parking fees on a per-minute basis.

If you think this marks the demise of “summon aunties”, you clearly don’t know Singapore at all. According to the relevant agencies, there will still be enforcement officers checking on your digital “coupons” to make sure you’re not gaming the system. 

Not yet available to the public, the app will first go on trial among public sector officers for a month starting today (16 May). It will include over 80 car parks — 70 URA ones in central areas like Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown, as well as 14 HDB ones in neighborhoods like Bugis and Tiong Bahru. 

If all goes well, the GPS-enabled app will be rolled out later this year to the approximately 1150 public car parks that currently still use paper coupons. And you can finally stop running back to your car in the middle of dinner to extend your parking.