SHANGHAI’S traffic law enforcement team this week shut down 45 illegal parking operations throughout the city.
They were unlicensed and some had potential safety hazards, the Shanghai Transport Commission team said.
One of the operations closed was outside residences on Fengzhuang Road in Jiading District. When enforcement team members arrived, a man was directing a car onto a pedestrian area in front of the neighborhood.
He claimed to be working for the Yunteng Property Management company but the team found the company’s application to use the space for parking had been turned down.
The team said it would be making return visits to the area, and the company would be fined up to 2,000 yuan (US$322) if it continued to allow cars to park there.
Another 94 parking areas which did have licenses were given rectification notices.
Some had registered at the commercial and tax departments but not with city or district-level transport authorities, a requirement before operation.
Some failed to divide parking spaces properly.
Others failed to erect signs detailing charges and other information.
All were told to bring their facilities up to standard within four weeks or face fines of up to 2,000 yuan.
According to a report by Xinhua news agency, at least half the parking fees raised were not reaching the government in a number of cities that included Shanghai and Beijing.
In Shanghai, city and district governments can also put the operation of parking areas out to tender. The winning bidders hire their own staff and pay part of their profit to the authority according to contract.
However, the report said the money handed in didn’t match the real income. The daily profit of one roadside parking area in Jing’an District received from the managing company was 30 yuan, equal to less than two hours parking, while the spaces had been occupied much more often. However, the district government had limited manpower and ability to supervise the operation, Xinhua said.
Drivers reaching private deals with parking staff was one reason why the government was losing out on parking fee income, said the report.
The standard fee for roadside parking in downtown Shanghai is 15 yuan for the first hour, and 10 yuan for every extra 30 minutes. For other areas within the Inner Ring, the first hour is 10 yuan, with 6 yuan for each extra 30 minutes.
“Car parking is not easy at all especially in downtown areas,” city driver Zhu Yi said.
Zhu said when he parks on Jinxian Road in Huangpu District, staff charge him 30 yuan to park as long as he wants but he doesn’t get a receipt.
At a few other parking areas, he can bargain with staff, he said.
“They would charge me less if I don’t ask for a receipt, which I actually don’t mind.”
Chen Xiaochen, a spokeswoman for the traffic law enforcement team, said that before a license to operate parking was granted the authority would review the facilities and the number of staff employed.
Chen said public tip-offs on hotline 12319 were a valuable part of its crackdown.