22 March 2005

$3.5 Mil from Pay Parking

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ABC Online have this piece on the ACT Govt trying to justify the $3.5 mil they’ve raised from putting in pay parking at Belconnen and Tuggeranong. Supposedly the figure is correct and right on track for their predictions along with seeing a 2.5% increase in public transport usage.

The ACT Libs concerns are that the money raised will go into General Revenue coffers rather than specific usage coffers, and for once Vicki Dunne actually makes a coherent statement saying, ”People are going to the Belconnen Mall to shop and they’re not going to do that on public transport, they’re going to go there, buy their groceries, put them in their car and go home”, to which I totally agree with her, then again neither of us actually work in the Belconnen or Tuggeranong area.

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I think if the government was truly serious about getting people to ride buses they would get rid of the ridiclous prices they charge to ride in one. Make them free, absorb the cost (somehow) if they really are that concerned about encouraging people to take public transport.
At the end of the day, alot of people in this city do have kids, and trying to get kids to childcare etc. and get yourself to work is pretty much impossible on a bus.

I dont blindly advocate Lightrail – i am advocating it based on decades of being a public transport user by choice in several Australian cities and many overseas ones.

If teh govt wants ‘sustainable public transport’ whatever the hell that is, it needs to make alternatives to driving a car more attractive.

Why dont people get the bus to the rugby/summernats/football/latesttrendybar ? because buses are unreliable and inconvenient. A Lightrail track is an obvious indicator that at some point a tram will appear and carry you to where you want to be. They provide certainy of service, business peopel know that if they build their business near a lightrail route that workers and clients can get there. I could go on but wont. Visit a city where integrated public transport exists and you will see that Canberra pouring money into concrete bus troughs and punishing drivers aint the way.

Ms Dunne is just banging a populist drum by raising the old ‘hypothecation of revenue’ argument. Have drivers who have been paying parking fees in Civic and Woden for years complained that their contributions might be spent on other parking areas or other ACT services? I don’t recall any.
Will Ms Dunne ever come up with a REAL issue?

Paid parking has been a mess. It adversely affects people working there the most, and people paid least the most, as they are normally in retail jobs or other jobs with unusual hours that make getting a bus to work impossible (start too early/finish too late). The competitive advantage that free parking gave the outer shopping areas will be lost, and some smaller businesses in these shopping areas will go to the wall because of it.

Bonfire may be able to grocery shop by bus, but my guess is that he/she/it has no children.

That said, its a bit late now for the Libs to jump up and down about it – that horse bolted last year.

I’ll be brief:

* People who advocate light rail blindly give me the shits.
* Buses are not that much worse than light rail. Yes, light rail scales better but we are only beginning to hit the point where buses are too full during peak hour.
* ACTION *does* link the main town centres with employment areas, that’s what the Belco-Civic-Woden-Tuggeranong corridor is for.
* Yes, Gungahlin gets screwed. The ACT government should create 5 electorates with 5 or 7 members each so that people who *care* about the area will get elected.

Paid parking is a good idea.

I often catch a bus to do my shopping. I could drive there, but parking is more of a hassle to me than walking 100 metres to a bus stop!

The people that the paid parking has adversely affected are the employees.

The reason it is so inconvenent is that while teh IDEA of people being forced to use public transport is a good one, ACTION buses are generally so crap as to make the REALITY of people getting a bus to work/shop impractical.

If the ACT had a more integrated public transport system with Lightrail as its backbone, linking the town centres and major employment areas, then I think peopel would be more inclined to lever themselves out of their drivers seat.

Vicki Dunne’s apparent “coherent statement” is crap. Heaps of people working in the departments around belconnen mall are parking in the mall spaces. Yes this means they actually plan to move there car twice every day. Not only the gov departments, I know private enterprise business that parks in there too.

Vicki is forgetting that belconnen mall offer 3 hours free parking before they start charging in the undercover carparks. I don’t think i’ve ever been shopping for that long.

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