Here’s something I didn’t know: Perth’s Transperth transport system has some paid parking, and you can pay for it with a Smartrider card.
Pay ‘n’ Display car parks are also fenced, but are patrolled by car park attendants between 7.00am and 9.00pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. A flat fee of $2.00 per day, or part thereof, applies. — Transperth web site
Bear in mind that provision of new parking spaces costs on average over $15,000 per space.
For multi-level parking, it can cost 3-4 times that amount. For the recent WA election, there was a promise by the Liberals of $47 million for a new multi-storey carpark at Edgewater station, providing 560 spaces. That’s about $84,000 per space. If every space was filled 365 days a year, paying $2 per day, it would take 115 years of for them to make the money back (and that doesn’t count the interest bill for borrowing the capital cost).
It appears that many Perth stations have between 30% and 60% of their parking with a $2 fee attached. I guess having at least some paid is to increase the likelihood of people arriving after rush hour being able to still find a spot. It may also be that the paid spots are those that have been added more recently, so the fees have helped pay for them. Bear in mind that because many Perth stations are in the middle of freeways, walk-up patronage is much lower than in Melbourne.
Another interesting one in Perth is they have some parking spaces which are locked-up between 9am and 3:30pm each weekday. Perhaps car theft is a big problem there.
It raises an obvious (but probably controversial) question: should they charge for parking spaces in Melbourne?
You could have a charge for all station car parks, probably on weekdays only (as in Perth) when demand is high.
Or you could charge more in zone 1. Or have a charge in zone 1 but none in zone 2. That would help reduce the current zone fare difference, discouraging people from driving to zone 1. Plus typically (but not always) at zone 1 stations there are more and better feeder services available, which people should be encouraged to use.
Or you could only apply it to specific stations where there is very heavy demand, particularly around zone boundaries (hello Laverton!)
Or some free, some paid parking at each station like in Perth.
You might be talking boom gates (more infrastructure required), or you might use pay-and-display tickets (more staff required).
Given the government decision that every traveller is expected to have a Myki, I would think you’d want it possible to be paid using that, to avoid having to have cash collection and so on, though also allowing payment with coins might help for occasional users.
Given tight budgets at the moment, it could fund extra services, particularly feeder buses so more people can get to the station without driving at all. (After all, you shouldn’t have to own a car to be able to use public transport.)
It could help defray the huge cost of providing parking (though at $2 a day it would take at least 20 years to do so). And given that huge cost, user-pays is not inappropriate — remember, despite how it seems, most train passengers don’t drive to the station — and land around stations is some of the most valuable in Melbourne.
It would discourage non-passengers from using those spaces. At some stations such as Camberwell, local office and building workers are known to fill up commuter parking. (What might be practical to solve this, without actually charging, is to make entering and/or exiting a carpark dependent on a touch from a Myki, with the system treating it the same as a fare for that zone… thus actual PT users would be charged no more, but non-PT users would be charged.)
It might help reduce demand so that people who genuinely need a park at the station are able to get one, even if travelling after 8am or so (earlier at some stations) when they currently fill up.
It means an additional cost for people who may not have any practical choice but to drive to the station… which might encourage some to simply drive all the way to their destination. (When this has come up in the past has been the PTUA position.)
The cost of collecting the fees would need to be taken into account… apart from things like boom gates, it might also require re-modelling of car park layouts, and even a mechanism for ensuring people don’t enter a car park when it’s already full (or perhaps just allow free exit within 15 minutes, like with Myki at stations — also useful for “kiss and ride” drop-offs).
Can Myki handle this type of transaction if it’s not considered part of the zone system, but an additional charge? If not, it might result in additional costs.
What’s the ultimate waste of space in a city centre? Ground level, single level parking.
Along with the access space required to get cars in and out, it’s wasted space because apart from perhaps $20-30 per day in revenue, it isn’t used for anything.
This post from Gordon Price compares a few cities — the contrast between Houston and Toronto is particularly stark. (There are more in this discussion thread at Skyscraperpage.com.)
How would Melbourne stack up? I’ve had a go at it, by plotting the red onto a Nearmap image, and scouring Nearmap at high resolution, then checking Google Streetview to see if a carpark was ground level parking, or a multi-storey (which at least piles cars on top of each other, meaning more efficient use of the land — even if it is still parking and is fugly) or parking on top of buildings.
I’ve only done within the Hoddle Grid. Have I missed any, or made any errors? Leave a comment.
You’d have to say that in summary, there’s not much. The tiny carpark near Lonsdale/Elizabeth Streets that I used to watch from on-high has vanished, and is being developed.
The parking at the back of The Age building (Lonsdale Street, behind Spencer Street) will, I’m told, vanish when the whole property is re-developed in the nearish future. The back of The Old Mint building (Latrobe/William Streets) is the other prominent area.
There’s a small amount of parking in front of the William Angliss Institute building. This is a perfect example of why it’s such a waste of space. Ten cars accommodated, taking up about half the open/garden space in front of the building.
Apart from that, the remaining surface parking is mostly in the grounds of churches — St Paul’s, St Francis, Wesley Uniting. (Scots Church and others have multi-level parking.)
And of course… there’s street parking, particularly along the non-tram streets such as Lonsdale, Russell and Exhibition.
See, in a city centre that has around half-a-million people a day visiting it, you can’t afford to have lots of people bring their cars. If you try and find space to leave hundreds of thousands of vehicles, that doesn’t work — not to mention the traffic congestion it creates. Bringing them in by more efficient means (particularly mass transit) is the only way it can work.
PS. Thanks for suggestions. The map has been slightly modified.
Apparently the buses at this bus stop have a destination of “None”.
The addition to the sign in this case is accurate. It’s a spot where buses layover in William Street between runs.
Apparently they’ve put bus stop signs up there to stop motorists parking there if they don’t notice the Bus Zone signs. But they’ve made them old-style bus stop signs so that passengers don’t try and board buses there.
Metlink do have a design for Set Down Only bus stops; there are a few around the CBD. I wonder why they don’t use those instead — they’d probably do the job, but be less confusing.
Well, this thing I’m driving is about as big as a bus, so I thought I could park in the bus stop. Obviously it would have been too hard to move forward a couple of metres into the perfectly legal parking spot just ahead.
I guess I could have knocked on the window and asked if she was the 703. But I wanted to catch a real one to see if they’d fixed the zone overlap Myki bug yet.
They haven’t — see today’s Age (
not online — article now online). It’s the same problem I first found on day one of Myki on buses back in July, and was highlighted again in a comment from Alasdair — and for him this route is on his daily commute. Can you imagine the hassle of ringing up every day to get re-imbursed the $4.04 (two trips) incorrectly charged?
Not loading, not unloading. Just sitting there. And plenty of spaces on the street.
Dear WKY762, that is a bloody stupid place to park. Do you understand what a footpath is for?
So don’t you think they could forfeit a few street parking spaces in the “Little” streets so some narrow footpaths could be widened?
For instance, Little Lonsdale Street has parking along both sides for most of its length, and has so many pedestrians at busy times that some are forced to walk on the road.
Removing parking spots along one side would be only a few dozen lost, but would make a big difference to the width of the footpaths — to cope with (and encourage) increasing pedestrian numbers, and also to ensure wheelchair (and pram) accessibility.
You’re meant to park at least one metre away from other cars, I guess so they have a chance of getting out of their parking spot:
If parking bays are not marked, you must leave at least one metre between your vehicle and those in front and behind.
But how does anybody get booked for breaking that rule? How would a parking inspector know who had done the wrong thing?
That’s my car on the left. Nobody else was there when I parked; I came back to find the other car behind me. There was plenty of space — a driveway if I recall correctly — in front. So it wasn’t a problem.
Dear “Number One Driving School”,
You may not be Number One for long if you keep teaching your learner drivers to park in bus zones, then sit there for 5+ minutes.
This pic was taken a couple of weeks ago, and was separate to another noted yesterday via Twitter: You parked in a bus zone then walked past three legal spots to where you were going? FAIL.
And if the Glen Eira parking inspectors want some easy prey, try the bus zone outside Flaked Out fish’n'chips in the evening.
Hey I was wondering — would they give me the power to issue traffic infringement fines? Preferably on commission, but heck, I’d do it for free, just to bring these morons down a rung or two.