High fees leave Da Nang's 'smart' parking unused

By Nguyen Dong   May 22, 2024 | 05:14 pm PT
High fees leave Da Nang's 'smart' parking unused
The "smart" parking lot at 166 Hai Phong Street in Da Nang City's center currently operates at only 5% its capacity. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
A two-month-old "smart" parking lot in Da Nang is only 5% occupied as its prohibitively high fees deter potential customers.

The 6-story high-tech parking lot at 166 Hai Phong Street is fully operated by an automated system.

Its 173 parking spaces for cars of up to seven seats opened in March.

Despite its location in the city center, near Da Nang Hospital and the central city's railway station, the parking lot remains largely unoccupied. Meanwhile, cars are frequently parked illegally on sidewalks and even double parked in the middle of the streets that surround it.

Nguyen Trung Nghia, deputy director of Da Nang's Department of Transport, said last Sunday that the average current occupancy rate of the "smart parking lot" has been only 5%.

He said the primary reason is high pricing, which is far above the cost of other parking lots. Previously, when parking lot 166 Hai Phong was a temporary lot, the parking fee was VND20,000 (US$0.78) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., or VND650,000 per car per month.

After becoming a smart parking lot, the fees are VND15,000 for the first and second hour per vehicle, and then VND20,000 for the third and fourth hours, and VND25,000 from the fifth hour onward, with an overnight fee of VND120,000.

Monthly rates are VND1.5 million per vehicle from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., VND1 million from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning, and VND2 million for all day and night.

Nghia said related agencies will work together in June to adjust the parking service fees to more reasonable levels, setting new rates for a month, hour, and day.

Widely considered the third most important city in Vietnam with a population of over 1.1 million, Da Nang is currently facing a shortage of parking spaces, with over 107,000 cars registered.

As urban development accelerates and population increases, the demand for vehicle parking has dramatically outstripped available facilities. This has led to congested streets and increased difficulty for residents and visitors trying to find parking spots, particularly in busy areas like the city center and tourist hotspots.

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