Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The flawed new parking system

The Hyderabad authorities have introduced a new parking system in many places in the city.

Here's how it works. They have a nifty ticketing machine installed at the parking area. People who want to park their cars are supposed to walk up to the machine on their own, punch in their car number, the amount of time they want to park and insert two five rupee coins for every hour they want to park. The machine then generates a ticket which you are supposed to display inside your car. If you fail to do these things or if the number of hours you park is greater than the number of hours mentioned in the ticket etc., your car will be towed away, they threaten.

Now, now, what an excellent example of bad usability! I can guarantee this method will not work.

First of all, no one is going to walk up to the machine to generate a parking ticket. No one has the time for this.

Even if there are some conscientious citizens who will, how can someone know in advance how long they are going to stay? What if they expect to stay for an hour but get delayed? Will their car get towed away? Do they need to worry about the parking ticket time when they are attending to their work? Do they need to leave whatever they are doing and come back to their car and generate a new parking ticket?

And this takes the cake - after generating the ticket, they must come back to their car, open the car and display the ticket in a manner that is visible from outside! Pray, how do they do this? The ticket is a piece of paper. How can it be put in this manner? Are citizens supposed to keep glue handy in the car?

Who comes up with these things?

And they must have spent quite a packet on the machines. This will all go down the drain.

4 comments:

Akbar Pasha said...

Welcome to the new copy cat minds of Indian strategist. It's no surprise that this is the new trend in US cities in the past 1 year or so. The good old parking slot machines are being replaced by computerized slip generators which need to be displayed on dashboards. Only difference here is that we are NOT required to put in our car number (who remembers it anyway here in US?).

It's a nice tactic of making more money out of humans' indecisiveness. In the old system, we would feel good about if I still have 15 mins more and I can pass it on to the next car. Here I can't. Everyone who parks has to pay and its usually more than the time they spend parking.

Also in US people have a lot of time to do all these things - in India? Not sure how well it will work.

Nobody said...

:)
People in India are generous.
Try a tip of 10Rs. He will take care of everything including a "salaam saab". :)

s said...

am surprised the machines are still thr. They should have been lifted by now.
Well... this is from experience. Ive seen people lifting the iron manhole covers n selling em. Its True!! unfortunately.

B said...

This is the typical system in Europe. Usually they place couple of machines on the street so that you do not need to walk too far.