HARARE’S on-street and bus termini parking services provider, City Parking, says it is aggressively pushing its new cashless, pre-paid parking product to meet the needs of an increasingly busy and demanding motoring public.
Francis Mandaza, the customer care officer with the company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the City of Harare, said motorists were at the centre of their business and “we cannot afford not to care for our customers”.
“Everyone here is now focused on satisfying our customers. The new product offers convenience to the parking motorists,” he said.
The new product, an in-vehicle device called Smart Park Personal Parking Meter (PPM), is a top-up-and-go gadget that eliminates the inconvenience of having to be logged in each time a motorist parks his or her vehicle within Harare’s central business district as it is a self-service facility.
The advantage of the device is that there is no cash involved, and a user dispenses just enough for the period they are parked, unlike the current system under which one has to pay for an hour even when they spend five minutes in a parking bay.
A motorist will have to activate the PPM once they get into a parking bay. The devise will flash central zone, implying that one has parked within the central business district. Once the PPM is activated, it starts billing. If it has no credit, it will not activate.
“We want to provide value for money,” said Mandaza. “Every cent that a motorist pays should be utilised, unlike the current system when you park for 30 minutes and still pay for an hour.”
He said the system was a solution to various complaints raised by customers, including lack of change for parking fees paid using higher denomination notes; delays in getting assisted by parking marshals; and failure to remember to get logged out by marshals when one moves out of a parking lot, which results in the motorist owing for time they remain logged in the system.
“This is per minute billing and it’s self service. It’s a gradual migration from cash transactions. We will not phase out cash transactions for the convenience of motorists who may have visited Harare from outside the capital,” said Mandaza.
“We tried to find a solution to every compliant that was raised by our customers through this system,” he said.
Mandaza said the card remained the property of City Parking and so motorists were obliged to pay a nominal fee every month for using the card.
Mandaza said they would soon embark on a marketing campaign to conscientise the motoring public about the product, which was introduced in September last year.
He said the response to the product was so far favourable.
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