A diner who went to get takeaway dinner from One Punggol Hawker Centre was shocked to find that she was charged S$3.20 for parking at the hub after just 20 minutes.
The diner wrote in to Mothership.sg to highlight the cost and express her shock.
Her account also appeared in Shin Min Daily News.
One Punggol is a one-stop community hub with a library, 700-seat hawker centre, childcare and senior care centres.
It officially opened in October 2022.
According to the diner, she drove to the hub to go to the One Punggol Hawker Centre in the evening as it was raining.
She was there to get takeaway meals for her children.
She arrived after 6pm that day.
When she left the premises barely 20 minutes later, she was charged a flat rate of S$3.20 for parking.
The woman said: "I got a rude shock when exiting the car park. The parking fee was S$3.20."
"That’s a per entry parking rate that basically offset any potential savings from my food orders."
This was unexpected as Punggol is in the heartlands and the surrounding are residential estates that charge 2 cents per minute for parking.
Shin Min reported the diner as saying: "I think they should take residents’ driving to pack food into consideration, and change the charging method at night to be the same as during the day, or it would be better to lower the fee.”
The woman also said she was not surprised to find out that "there are always cars illegally parked at the road outside" of One Punggol.
She added: "I asked around, and apparently, the per entry car park rate has been there since opening."
Parking more expensive than food
Another diner, a 37-year-old man, told Shin Min that the cost of parking was more than his food the last time he popped by for a takeaway meal.
He said: "Six chwee kueh cost S$3, and you can get a 10 per cent discount if you pay with the hawker centre app."
"The food is only S$2.70, but it costs S$3.20 to park for 15 minutes. I think the flat fee is very unfair."
He also said as he believes that One Punggol is a public facility, and it is not located in a mature estate, so the charges should not be too high.
In addition, parking at Our Tampines Hub in a mature estate is only S$2.40 flat.
The man proposed: "If it can't be lowered, can the 10 minutes of free parking be extended to 20 minutes?"
Looking into it
A spokesman for One Punggol told Shin Min that the hub has a total of 228 parking spaces, and the charges are within the range of neighboring non-residential facilities.
"However, we are also taking into account the feedback and needs of residents and the public who patronise the centre, so we will review the parking fee in the future to ensure that it is more affordable," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that there are security guards at One Punggol to ensure that drivers do not park illegally by the road to avoid affecting the traffic situation there.
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