The Smart Parking Meter will be replaced in the first quarter, it can be accessed remotely, and it will automatically notify the police for unauthorized meter tampering without payment

 
[2020.01.01] publish
 
The Transport Department will begin replacing the new generation of roadside parking meters (commonly referred to as smart meters) throughout Hong Kong in the first quarter of this year. The new meters will accept payments from 11 different payment methods and also feature an application for remote payments and displaying the availability of parking spaces. The image is a model. (Photograph by Lee Siu Cheong)
 
"The Transport Department plans to roll out six pilot programs for smart parking facilities across Hong Kong. Among these, the project on Qingzhou Street in Sham Shui Po will feature a 'cylindrical' design and is expected to offer 200 parking spaces. The department is still in the preliminary design stage and will later seek funding approval from the Legislative Council. The project is anticipated to be completed in a few years. The image shows a model of the cylindrical smart parking facility. (Photograph by Lee Siu Cheong)

【Ming Pao Exclusive】 The Transport Department is set to begin replacing the new generation of roadside parking meters (commonly referred to as smart meters) across Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2020. Starting yesterday, the department displayed models of these smart meters to the public at Lok Fu Plaza. The new meters will accept payments from 11 different payment methods and also include an application for remote payments. The Transport Department emphasizes that the smart meters do not have surveillance capabilities and will not record vehicle or pedestrian information. However, data on unpaid fees will be transmitted to the police for enforcement. Additionally, the department plans to introduce 'puzzle-shaped' and 'cylindrical' automated parking systems (commonly referred to as smart parking facilities) in Tsuen Wan and Sham Shui Po respectively, with the Tsuen Wan project expected to be completed in early 2021."

At present, there are approximately 9,700 parking meters throughout Hong Kong that only accept Octopus card payments. The new smart meters, in addition to Octopus, also accept payments through 10 other electronic methods, including VISA paywave, contactless MasterCard, Apple Pay, Faster Payment System, and Alipay, among others. Furthermore, drivers can remotely extend their parking time through a mobile application, although there is still a 'maximum parking duration' limit (meaning, in a two-hour zone, you can only park for a maximum of two hours) and remote 'renewal' is not unlimited. Drivers can also access real-time information on available parking spaces through the application.

11 payment methods and the app allows you to check the availability of parking spaces.

According to Wang Bak-kin, the Director of Transport of the Transport Department, smart meters utilize radar sensing to detect whether parking spaces are occupied by vehicles. He emphasizes that these sensors lack image capture and recording capabilities, ensuring that they do not capture images of vehicles or pedestrians. However, data regarding parking usage will be transmitted to the police. If a vehicle is parked in a space without payment, the police can issue parking tickets on-site.

The Tsuen Wan smart parking facility will be open for tender this year and is expected to be completed next year.

Wang stated that starting in the first quarter of this year, they will gradually replace the meters, with the initial locations selected in areas with high meter usage and frequent tourist bus parking. They anticipate replacing at least 1,500 meters within this year and completing the replacement of all meters across Hong Kong within two years.

The Transport Department also plans to launch six pilot programs for smart parking facilities across Hong Kong. Senior Engineer Yang Lok-ki of the Transport Department mentioned that the first one to be introduced will be the Hoi Shing Road project in Tsuen Wan, which will employ a 'puzzle-shaped' parking system and is expected to provide 270 parking spaces. The department will open the tender process early this year, with the construction funded by an operator, and it is anticipated to be completed by 2021. The Qingzhou Street project in Sham Shui Po will feature a 'cylindrical' design and is expected to offer 200 parking spaces. It is still in the preliminary design stage, and funding will be sought from the Legislative Council later, with completion expected in several years.

Exploring 'Non-Stop Payment' for Tunnels

Additionally, the Transport Department plans to introduce a non-stop payment system. The initial plan was to trial this system in the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, but the government previously announced that tolls for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel will be waived. The Transport Department has stated that they will select another toll tunnel as a priority for implementing this system.

The government previously stated that it would begin distributing vehicle stickers for the non-stop payment system to vehicle owners in the third quarter of this year, to be used in conjunction with the opening of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel next year. However, as the new system will not be implemented for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, the distribution of stickers will be delayed, and there is currently no timetable in place.

 

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