Lawmakers at the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday gave preliminary approval to an amendment to the Parking Lot Act (停車場法) which would set 30 minutes as the unit of billing for roadside parking.
The amendment, proposed by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Chien-jung (林建榮) and 27 other legislators, would apply to both roadside parking and off-street public parking spaces. The amendment authorizes local governments to make adjustments based on the particular circumstances of each locality.
Lin said that as the current act did not specify a billing unit, many areas around the country charged motorists by the hour.
The method is unfair to those who need to park for just four or five minutes, he said, because they still have to pay for an entire hour’s parking.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications opposes the amendment.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Tsai-wen (郭蔡文) said that the collected parking fees mainly pay for personnel and facility maintenance costs.
Some parking spaces in the central and southern parts of the country only charge motorists NT$20 an hour, he said.
Kuo said the parking fee in those cases would be reduced to NT$10 should the billing unit be halved to 30 minutes and the vehicle owner parks for less than half an hour.
“An additional NT$3 to NT$4 of the processing fee will be deducted from the reduced parking fee when the drivers pay the fee at a convenience store,” he added, saying that “not much is left to pay for the personnel that are required to check the parking meters.”
Lin said the ministry could not use the parking situation in central and southern Taiwan as a reason to oppose the amendment.
“Yilan County is one of the poorest counties, yet it allows people to park for free for the first 10 minutes,” Lin said. “If a poor county has sufficient manpower to check on the meters, others should be able to do it as well.”