As a follow-up to high tech/low tech Singapore quirks, let’s decipher Parking Coupons.
There are no parking meters in Singapore. At least none that we have seen. Instead, displayed in all the care windows are 4″ x 10″ strips of paper color coded by orange or purple or blue or whatever. These strip are all laid out along the dashboard on parked cars along the curb.
These cards are used to show how much time you have purchased for that spot. The coupons have little punch dots that you pull out to indicate the year (yes year!), month, day, and time you started. The color coding tells you how much time each card is worth. You buy packets of coupons and then punch the holes based on need. Clear right? So for example, if you needed 1 hr of parking, you would pull out an orange card, punch out the year 2011 (they are pre labeled thru the year 2016!) punch out December, punch out the date and punch out the time you parked, say 12:30. If parking is $1/hour, then that card is good until 1:30. Should you need more time, you punch a second card starting that one at 1:30 and continue lining them along your dash board in chronological order for the amount of time needed.
Here’s a handy site that might explain it better: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10327p.nsf/w/CarPark1HowToDisplayCoupon?OpenDocument
Now the High Tech portion is that next to this, and installed on every car and motorcycle, is an electronic reader that is used to automatically pay entrance fees on toll roads and the high traffic downtown zone. There is a card that fits into the slot and this card is also removed and swiped at gates to access parking garages and lots around town. One card does double duty. And, AND!, all around town you see signs with the designated car garages telling you the current number of free spots so that as you near your destination, you can see if the garage closet to your goal has space, or if you need to stop at one further out to park. Very high tech.
Just don’t forget you paper coupons if you park on the street…