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The touchscreen parking meters align with the use of advanced digital technologies adopted in innovative smart scanning vehicles. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah City Municipality (SCM) is set to roll out 800 touchscreen parking meters during the first quarter of 2021.

The touchscreen parking meters align with the use of advanced digital technologies adopted in innovative smart scanning vehicles that have been launched by the municipality to monitor parking violations and provide data and statistics on parking occupancy rates. The meters will provide a new method for payment of parking fees. Smart screening vehicles are equipped with advanced cameras that can identify the vehicle numbers recorded via the touchscreen parking meters.

Thabit Al Turaifi, Director General of Sharjah City Municipality, said that the launch of 800 touchscreen parking meters comes following the completion of the first phase of the project during which the Sharjah Municipality launched 400 meters in different areas of Sharjah.

This project is the first of its kind in the Middle East and integrates with the digital scanning vehicles launched by the SCM to inspect public parking spaces. The scanning vehicles can read vehicles’ plate numbers, whose owners have paid fees using these advanced parking meters.

Khalid bin Falah Al Suwaidi, Assistant Director General of the Customer Service Sector, said the parking service comes within the framework of the Sharjah Municipality’s to streamline paid parking in various areas of the city. Ali Ahmad Abu Ghazin, Director of the Public Parking Department, said more than 400 devices have been launched to pay public parking fees using touch technology, which have been distributed in various areas of the city.

The launch of devices to pay public parking fees with touch technology is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and is covered under the “Sabek” programme, he said.

First phase a success

Abu Ghazian explained that the 400 touchscreen devices that were launched during the first phase currently cover more than 15,000 positions in various areas of Sharjah City, and this phase also saw the supply of 150 devices and the upgrading of 250 existing parking meter devices. The main screen of the meters were replaced with an electronic screen that allows customers to pay the fees without having to put the parking receipt on the front of the vehicle. This move contributed to supporting the municipality’s paperless initiative in a bid to preserve the environment.

He pointed out that the municipality provided customers with many options to pay parking fees. They can pay parking fees using the SMS booking service or through various seasonal subscriptions provided by the municipality of Sharjah City, or even by parking in the investment parking lots.

The municipality is also in the process of launching its application of the e-wallet soon. This will allow customers to keep a balance that can be used to pay the parking fees. All these options are available to customers and add flexibility and ease of payment of parking fees.