Transperth parking

  Northmetro Junior Train Controller

I've noted and contributed to comments on the proposal to charge for all station parking in the state budget. However, I think it probably deserves a thread of its own.

Currently there are sections of paid parking at many stations, charging $2 a day (Monday-Friday only). To fully cover the costs of provision, a charge of at least $5 a day for open air car parks and about $20 for a multi-storey car park would be necessary. If these amounts were actually charged, people would use their cars for the entire journey and this would place more pressure on roads, requiring expensive upgrades (where this is possible) or causing increased congestion otherwise.

So providing more station car park spaces may well be cost effective when compared with the alternatives, but there should be some mechanism to regulate demand where reasonable alternatives are available. Even if the introduction of paid parking moves a few people on to buses, this will ease pressure on the currently available parking and perhaps make it possible for people who start work later to find a parking space.

A $2 parking charge is similar to the add-on cost of catching a bus from the adjacent zone and return (and if your bus stop is in the same zone as the station it costs you nothing).

In many cities station parking costs far more, and the alternative of driving to the CBD is even more expensive. Typical all day parking is $20-30. I just hope this will not be one of those charges where the cost of collection absorbs a large proportion of the revenue raised, as I would hope the revenue will enable more investment in station parking in the future.

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  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
Meh; I always take the bus in anyway so it won't really bother me at all
  Wool Stores Locomotive Fireman

Location: Perth
Firstly, before you implement a proposal like this you need to have a viable transport alternative. The current feeder bus system is well below current demands in regards to frequency and coverage.

Secondly, the $2 fee is no more expensive than a one-zone bus ticket. If your aim is to create a mass paradigm shift and reduce congestion you need to make car travel far more unattractive.

The current proposal won't do much to reduce the current congestion problem. How about we abolish oil company subsidies and use that money to better out public transport system.
  Northmetro Junior Train Controller

Changing Perth from a car based to a public transport based community will take time. In the outer suburbs blocks of land are still large and population density low. This limits the number of people that are within walking distance of the station and often also limits the viability of bus routes (to serve enough homes, the bus routes have to wander indirectly through residential estates making the journey much slower than by car). We can't change the estates that are already built but we can influence those that are still to come. A residential development with a "spine" consisting of a main road with most of the commercial and social premises on it, and high density housing close by will provide the basic support for a frequent bus service to the station, then the lower density housing surrounds it (but still within walking distance). Then we have to make the bus/train option more attractive than car/train, which in turn should be more attractive than 100% car.

This will be a very complex combination of price, door to door journey time, comfort, dependability and flexibility. Disincentives to using bus connections are currently (in no particular order)
  • bus stop too far from home
  • bus not frequent enough
  • bus service not reliable
  • Little or no shelter at bus stop
  • outward bus journey OK but can't rely on getting a bus home if working late
  • bus/train connections not dependable

While we should be targeting the periods when the whole transport system is under pressure (where moving people on to public transport is likely to be more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and socially more acceptable) we should not forget that perceived difficulties/constraints/obstacles with the return journey will influence choice of mode for the outward journey. So we should enable the decision to ideally not use the car at all or use the car only for a limited distance on roads that are not congested. So some station parking will always be needed (we can't provide bus routes everywhere) but we need incentives to consider other options.

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