More motorists use Park & Ride scheme

MORE people are going to work by parking their cars outside the city centre and hopping onto a train or bus to complete the journey.

An average of 1,800 motorists now use the Park & Ride scheme every month, a 20 per cent increase from the figure four years ago, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.

The utilisation rate for the 24-year-old scheme, designed to ease traffic congestion in the city, has also grown.

Each month, motorists snap up 90 per cent of the available season parking tickets at the more popular Park & Ride carparks. There are now 16 carparks with such a high utilisation rate, compared with just 10 in 2010.

In total, there are 41 of these carparks across the island, offering over 4,700 parking spaces, the LTA said.

Cost savings appear to be a main draw for those taking up the scheme. Motorists pay $70 every month - $30 for a season parking ticket at a Park & Ride carpark of their choice, and a $40 card for travel on MRT trains and buses.

The season parking ticket allows them to park between 7am and 9pm on weekdays.

Engineer Lim Heng Thong, 41, who lives in Bedok, parks his car in Toa Payoh and gets on a train to get to his workplace in Novena. If he parks his car at the office, it would cost him about $200 a month.

"There's also the Electronic Road Pricing charges I have to pay, which can be quite high," said Mr Lim, who has been using the scheme for four years.

But the popularity of some Park & Ride carparks can pose a challenge in securing a space. The $70 Park & Ride set goes on sale on the 15th each month. For those who want a parking space at a popular location, it means going online to book a set as early as 8am, when the sale starts.

Financial planner June Au, 40, usually parks her car in Bishan and rides the train to work in Tanjong Pagar. "The Bishan carpark is quite 'hot'.

There was (once) I went online at 10am and there were no more sets left," she said, adding that the Bishan carpark is close to the Junction 8 mall, hence its popularity.

The LTA said it continues to assess if more carparks and parking spaces are needed. It is also looking at identifying carparks near new MRT stations to add to the scheme.

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