In a Straits Times forum dated 3 January (Wednesday), ST reader, Mr Lim Yew Beng wrote several questions regarding BlueSG cars which he deems to have received such special treatment.
Mr Lim noted that while the initiatives by various business entities here to push for a greener Singapore is to be applauded, he notes that the HDB, in support of such an initiative, has provided "reserved" parking spaces for BlueSG in some of its carparks.
He wrote that he noticed at the multi-storey carpark Q77M in Holland Drive, for instance, four parking spaces on the ground floor, usually reserved for season ticket holders, have been repainted blue.
"But on the same level, only one parking space has been assigned for handicapped drivers," he added.
Mr Lim posted several questions regarding the matter.
- Why the HDB has given a private business entity the privilege of reserving parking spaces in residential areas?
- If a season ticket holder cannot reserve a parking space, why allow businesses to do so, and at the expense of residents?
- Why did HDB place these "reserved" spaces on the ground floor? They should be placed on level 5 or higher, in spaces meant for non-season parking.
- How was the number of spaces derived? Of the four spaces allocated, most, if not all, of the time, only one is occupied by a shared car, leaving the others under-utilised.
- Why not place these "reserved" spaces in unoccupied carparks? For instance, near the junction of Holland Drive and North Buona Vista Road, there is an empty carpark (H0004) where the old HDB units have been torn down.
In response to Mr Lim's letter, some commented that Singaporeans are so whiny and gave some answers to the questions.
Jye Yau Wong wrote, "Sometimes I'm really amazed by how much Singaporeans can whine."
Steve Goh Robo wrote, "Beside the point of these BlueSG cars are for car sharing purposes, these electric cars that requires to charge up the battery with charging points, imagine that a normal car park at the parking lot with charging point, then when the electric car return and unable to park at the charging point and park at some other lot without charging point, the next driver come, first he will not know where the car is park and need to hunt for it, and the car will not have sufficient battery power to drive. That's why these electric cars need designated or reserved parking lots for them, it's actually very common sense to do so, why the need to even complain and whine about the reserved lots for these electric cars? Are we becoming so self-centered till we can't even have this basic logic understanding and gracious enough to accept it? It's not about special treatment for these electric cars but the need to do so."
Mark Leong wrote, "Simple, electric cars uses charging stations. Putting on ground floor makes it safer and easier to facilitate servicing and maintenance. Our Government also have specific investment for them. Most car sharing companies do purchase full fledged unsubsidized season parking. It's really for practical and safety reasons."
Wilkie Ong Keng Soon wrote, "This is called sharing of facilities for the benefits of residents. Writer shouldn't be sore as he still has his season parking at that car park. If owning a car demands so much expectations in parking, he should buy a landed home instead with a parking lot always there waiting for him."
Terence Tan wrote, "I thought BlueSG cars is part of the national car-sharing imitative started by the Government to push for car-lite Singapore and promote car sharing? The private entity is appointed by the Government to start the initiative. Anything wrong to give them some parking spaces in residential areas to promote car-sharing among the HDB residents?"
Kenneth Luo wrote, "Car ownership is a good fashioned concept. Why pay for maintenance? Why pay for COE and parking when most of the time your car is stationary? I welcome car sharing for a car lite economy. It requires a massive mindset change in all of us. Just like what bike sharing has done, I hope to see "sharable" car everywhere, to the point where the car I want to use/rent is at the nearest public carpark or shopping mall."
However, some stated that Singaporeans have the right to know every answer from the authority, adding that this move is actually something useless.
Brandon Choo wrote, "It is not about whining. It is really quite a valid point. People pay money for season parking in these carparks. What gives our government the position to reduce the lots allowed for residents of the affected estates?
We simply want to be assured that public interests are not compromised to faciliate private interests.
Likewise the same question as to why public funds were used to sponsor buses and trains for privatized companies previously. We shouldn't blur the line there. That would create an unlevelled playing field for potential competitors, and hence we don't see economics driving prices for bus fares, which would've helped ensure competitive prices, hence benefiting society at large."
Alessandro Del Baggio wrote, "BlueSGcars are totally rubbish. The maximum range is only 200 kilometers. And what is the power consumption or rating? None. It might consume more power than a regular petrol vehicle. So what's the point of having it? And the rental is $0.50 per minutes which translates into $30 per hour. You can easily rent a small car at $50 per day."
Amin wrote, "Encourage people to share electric car. But when individual buys electric cars like tesla, they are taxed higher. Good job."
Wak Lu wrote, "And another thing I heard don't quote me that RC also given special treatment to park at any HDB precinct for free. Plus investigate. No malpractice, please."
Stantario Tay wrote, "Isn't it obvious? If you start your own genuine non-government profited car sharing company in Singapore, the only car park you can get is at Choa Chu Kang cemetery."
Lau Kai Chong wrote, "Come on. Even the carpark management is run by private company.
What do you expect? It's all about the money."
Sky Sim Kim Yu wrote, "Can anyone bring in Tesla? I want to see how the DBL prata flipper rules it."
Goh Rayson wrote, "Totally agree, the lots of these shared or rental cars should have been on higher floors."
Fai Fairuzy wrote, "Valid point. Residents who've paid for season parking should be given priority."
Jordan Chen wrote, "Pardon me for my ignorance. From what I know, even like Car Club (another car sharing club), they do have a few lots that are reserved for them too. I suppose they do pay for the season parking just like normal car owners too. Not sure id this BlueSG do pay for the season parking too. But I do agree that the Government is always there to squeeze us dry."