Motorists to pay parking fees next month

By Adel Fruean and Sapeer Mayron ,

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Parking in Apia Township will cost vehicle owners $1 for 15 minutes from September this year.

The Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) announced the costs and enforcement measures yesterday at their headquarters in Vaitele.

Eight parking meters were installed on Sunday, from the main ANZ building to the National Provident Fund (N.P.F.) Plaza, which account for 84 parking spaces along Beach Road.

L.T.A. said the parking meters will charge $1 for the first 15 minutes of parking, and then $4 per hour.

C.E.O. of the Land Transport Authority, Galumalemana Ta'atialeoitiiti Agnes Tutuvanu-Schwalger said the charges are non-refundable should drivers return to their car before their time is up.

“All proceeds from the parking meters system shall be given to assist with fixing our roads,” Galumalema said.

“There are so many works that need to be done on our roads but less funding which is why this will assist with developing our roads.”

L.T.A. will run a one month operational test run where the rules will be relaxed, followed by a six month trial with all rules in place.

Galumalemana said the public’s inability to find parking is a problem which needs addressing.

“We are planning for these parking meters to be operational from Monday to Friday starting from 8am-4pm,” she said.

“We will most likely include Saturdays as well but we will start off first with Monday to Friday and  we are keeping the public informed should any changes come up.”

L.T.A. will be running awareness campaigns and advertisements in the coming weeks to inform the public well before the parking meters are operational.

The monitoring and enforcement of the use of the parking meters will be carried out by the L.T.A. Traffic Division and the Ministry of Police. 

L.T.A. Traffic Division Manager Muagututia Mark Tominiko said drivers who are found to be parking over their paid time limit will be fined $50 within their first half hour, and towed thereafter to the the L.T.A. compound in Vaitele. 

“Our traffic officers will be waiting until the owner of the vehicle will come back and inform the owner that it has been towed and direct them to our compound to claim their vehicle,” he said.

It will cost drivers $142 to reclaim their vehicle from L.T.A.

Of the $142, the L.T.A will only collect a $37 administration fee. 

The rest goes to Uhrle Auto Repairs, Paint and Panel, the towing company hired by L.T.A.

Uhrle Auto Repairs, Paint and Panel has been working with the L.T.A. for two years.

Francis Uhrle, the owner and operator says he has two tow trucks and has ordered a third.

He says he supports the government’s implantation of parking meters.

“Everyone has to throw in a coin to help the betterment of the country. I am a proud Samoan and I will do anything to help Samoa,” he said.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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