Mumbai: Parking authority suggests valet parking in Churchgate

Updated: Aug 30, 2019, 07:48 IST | Arita Sarkar

MPA meeting points out that if operators run a valet service then vehicles that were being parked on the road could be easily moved in and out of public parking lots

With a valet service, vehicles can be picked up from busy areas, parked at the nearest public parking lots and then dropped off at the pick-up point. Representation pic/Getty Images
With a valet service, vehicles can be picked up from busy areas, parked at the nearest public parking lots and then dropped off at the pick-up point. Representation pic/Getty Images

Random parking of vehicles on roads will become a thing of the past with the Mumbai Parking Authority's (MPA) on-street parking policy kicking off today. The MPA is mulling a valet parking service for people working in and around Churchgate, who find it difficult to reach the public parking lots situated at Colaba and Nariman Point during peak hours. The idea was discussed in one of MPA's meetings. "Many of the public parking lots in the city have been constructed in areas where there is no demand, and as a result, they are not being fully utilised. If the operators run a valet service then the vehicles that were being parked on road can be taken to the PPLs," said an MPA member.

For instance, for those who work in and around Churchgate, parking space is either available in CR2 Mall in Nariman Point (215 slots) or in the BEST depot in Colaba (80 slots). With a valet service, vehicles could be picked up from the busy areas, parked at these two parking lots and then dropped off at the pick-up point.
Shishir Joshi, advisory member of MPA and CEO and founder, Project Mumbai said, "We want to make the process of implementing the on-street parking policy as seamless as possible for citizens. Valet parking service is one of the many options that were discussed in the MPA meeting."

While PPL operators feel the idea has potential, they are apprehensive about how profitable it would be. However, a start-up company – Parkr – has designed an app through which they are set to launch valet service in the city from Nariman Point till Ambernath next month. Wali Kashvi, one of the founders of the project, said that they had mapped all the parking lots in the city and customers would be able to avail the service through the app. "People can drop off their vehicles at our designated pick-up points, from where our driver will take it to a parking lot. When the user is ready to leave, they can use the app to notify the driver," said Kashvi.

The app will show real-time location of vehicles and users would know whenever they reach the pick-up points. Apart from the BMC's parking charges, the user would have to shell out an hourly fee for the valet driver. Speaking to mid-day, Akhtar Hussain Khan, who currently manages pay-and-park lots in Lower Parel, Napean Sea Road and Bandra said that for the idea to be successful, civic officials and traffic police would have to impose the BMC's new parking rules in a strict and consistent manner. "It is a good idea and the parking lots can be filled using the valet service. But it won't work if the traffic police stop fining people who park their vehicles on road since then they will not opt for the valet service," he said.

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