A few years ago, Multiplex the company in charge of running Uganda’s street parking management and collections of street parking dues, launched an innovation where its customers would be able to pay for their street parking tickets by use of a machine, instead of the parking attendants in a faster and more convenient way. Later on the machines were installed in mostly upscale Kampala with the most in Nakasero, Dewinton road areas.
However, a few years later, all these machines do is get solar energy from their solar panels, get by passed, and very few people use them. In fact it seems so bad, that parking attendants are actually seated right besides them with some streets having about 2 street parking ticket vendors on the same street that has two machines. I took Dewinton road, as an example with more 2 machines in less than 100metres.
In some areas the machines appeared to be off, well before we start blaming, if people actually used them a lot Multiplex would realize the fault, however most of them work and I tried using them and was successful.
Why do few people don’t use them?
Some might have preferred old fashion and traditional ways of paying for tickets where they wait for the parking ticket attendant to place a ticket on the windscreen and they pay or drive off. In the same spirit, airtime vending machines have also had this same problem however they seem to be much more than parking machines. Another category is the worried kind who claims that confirmation of payments cannot be guaranteed since it’s a machine. However it 2013, soon everything is going electronic, and these might adapt by force.
Some people actually don’t want to pay their street parking tickets, and definitely don’t use the machines.
Some of the machines use a card system and quite a few people have Street parking cards, another culture Ugandans haven’t embraced so much but the few elite have realized the benefits of such cards such as saving and good financial management.
The parking machines are still few in number and are the not the commonest sights and sees of the streets of Kampala, hopefully when they increase in number people might actually use them, however I believe we need to show a great need to use them first.
What needs to be done?
Awareness campaigns should be done to make more people aware of how to use these machines!
To sum this up, these are wonderful pieces of technology we should embrace to make our lives simple. . We also have to actually use them because there are no queues, you don’t have to search for the ticket vendor on the next block, you can use them to pay for all your parking bills and for the tech lovers you get to do things the modern way.