Fri, Nov 16, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Councilors raise ruckus over parking

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two Taipei City councilors yesterday accused the Taipei City Government of pocketing an extra NT$10 million (US$309,960) in annual parking fees as a result of flaws in the city's parking meter system.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) said the city's Easy Card street-parking meters require drivers to pay fees in advance, but do not give refunds to drivers who leave their spaces before the time on their meters expires.

"The meters do not give refunds to drivers who pay for two hours but leave earlier. Furthermore, the meters charge drivers for one hour even if they come back to their cars in just 15 minutes. The city government is cheating people out of their money," Hsu told a press conference yesterday on Zhongxiao E Road.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Huang Hsian-chun (黃向群) urged the city government to add a refund function to the meters to prevent overcharging.

In response, officials from Taipei City's Parking Office said the government did not pocket money left over from drivers who paid in advance and leave early. Instead, the officials explained, the remaining money benefits the next driver who uses the parking space. Nevertheless, they said they would take the councilors' suggestions into consideration.

Meanwhile, the city government said it will begin charging fees for motorcycles parked around the Ximending area on Nov. 27 to encourage people to use public transportation.

Motorcyclists who park on Chengdu Road, Zhongxiao W Road, Huanhe S Round, Kangding Road and Zhonghua Road will be charged NT$20 a time, Taipei City's Transportation Department said.

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