It’s bad news Monday, as all Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)-owned parking bays within the city’s central business district (CBD), will have its parking charges increased by 150%, effective today. DBKL owns a total of 46,100 metered parking bays in the city, and 9,914 are located at the CBD area.

In a report by The Star, the affected areas are Bukit Bintang, Bukit Damansara, Sri Hartamas, Desa Hartamas, Solaris Mont Kiara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bangsar where 75% to 100% parking spaces are taken up during peak hours.

Under the new rate structure, the hourly parking charges in the central business district has been increased from RM0.80 an hour to RM2 for the first hour. Beyond that, it will cost you RM3 for the second hour and each subsequent hour after that.

According to the report, if you were to park from 7.30 am to 6pm, which is the usual operation hours, you will end up having to pay as much as RM32 a day following the new rates. DBKL will continue to enforce the new parking charges in stages from now to August 1, and depending on the location, could see an increase between 100% and 200%.

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Zones outsides the city, where charges are currently RM0.50 per hour, could be hiked to RM1.50 or RM1 per hour, depending on zones. These areas include Brickfields, Taman Maluri, Cheras, Wangsa Maju and Setapak, where the percentage of parking occupancy in these areas are between 55% and 75%.

DBKL has also introduced a maximum parking cap of just two hours in selected areas, where those who surpass the two-hour limit will find their cars clamped or towed. According to Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, the decision to increase the parking rates was not motivated by profit, but rather to ease traffic congestion in the city and encourage people to carpool.

“We want to free up as many street parking spaces in the city and encourage people to take public transport or carpool to the city. I know I am going to be very unpopular, but it has to be done because traffic in Kuala Lumpur is already bursting at the seams,” he said.

What are your thoughts on DBKL’s move to increase the parking rates in the city? Will this prompt you to consider other modes of transport instead? Let us know what you think in the comments below.