KUALA LUMPUR: Parking charges of up to RM40 per hour should be imposed to reduce traffic in major cities here, suggests a board member for the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning.
Khairiah Mohd Talha said the fee should be raised to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use public transportation to travel to work and other places.
The system, she said, has proven successful in other countries.
For instance, Australia and Singapore charge A$40 (RM120) and S$40 (RM100) per hour, respectively, while in the United States, Boston and New York also charge US$40 (RM130) per hour, she said.
High parking charges would also help lower carbon emission and create a safer environment, she said.
Speaking at a highway conference in Johor recently, Khairiah said it is vital that a peoplecentric transportation master plan is implemented to meet the target.
“The master plan should not focus on business ... it should be people first,” she added.
City Hall is reviewing parking needs in Kuala Lumpur, especially in areas accessible to public transportation.
Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal said the review includes reducing parking lots as public transportation rises.
City Hall is banking on projects like the MY Rapid Transit system to help achieve the targets.
Kuala Lumpur has a population of six million and it is targeted to grow to 10 million by 2020.
Khairiah said it is important to meet the paradigm shift in the way developments are taking shape here.
“Today, we are looking at smart cities, smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart living, smart people and smart governance.
“The applications of smart cities include an innovative economy and well-planned city infrastructure and utilities. Proper planning will ensure that the targets are met,” she said.