Located in the bustling Central Business District (CBD), M-Park @ Club Street offers the first electronic parking system in Singapore where cars are automatically parked by machine. Owned by the Land Transport Authority, this four-story 142-slot public parking garage is a new and unique concept to minimise land space needed for car parks in the growing CBD.

Built in 2008, the temporary multi-story car park replaced an older lot which comprised double the current land usage, offering the same number of parking spaces. The other 50% has been converted to a worksite to facilitate the construction of the Metropolitan Rail Transport’s (MRT) Downtown Line to be completed by 2013.

This prudent use of land provides sufficient working space for the MRT’s construction, while meeting the needs of the public. It’s also a stark reminder of how scarce land has become in Singapore, therefore the need to effectively utilize spaces.

The overall process is decently fast, simple and smooth. Instructions are given by electronic signs to advise you to wait, drive into the car lift, park, and then get out.

Once the car has been secured using a prompted four-digit pin, the lift doors close and the car is mechanically rotated then slowly whisked away to an allocated spot, then drivers proceed on their merry way.

To park and to collect the car takes less than five minutes each. When Untapped Cities visited, we were the only car in queue which resulted in quick service, but we imagine a long queue at the end of the work day could result in a lengthy wait for users.

The rates are reasonable for city standards, whereby parking during office hours from Monday to Saturday costs around S$2.00 (US$1.50) per hour, and around a dollar per hour on Sundays and public holidays. Other parking spaces in CBD buildings range from $4-$8 per hour.

While this is the first of its kind in land-deprived Singapore, perhaps with the constant growth of car sales and lack of parking areas, such establishments could become more commonly used throughout the island.

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