A really positive looking announcement by Auckland Transport today that they’re looking at completely overhauling the way on-street parking is managed in the city centre so that it turns over more regularly and isn’t used as much for long-stay parking. Here’s the full media release:

Auckland Transport plans to make changes to on-street parking in the central city. These changes are designed to support business, improve pedestrian amenity and attract more visitors to the CBD.

Currently most areas are managed through parking restrictions that apply to parts of individual streets. Auckland Transport plans to remove these restrictions and replace them with a single approach to parking within a new Central City Parking Zone.

The Central City Parking Zone will increase the availability of on-street parking, reduce traffic and parking congestion and remove signage clutter from city centre streets.

A single approach to pricing and managing car park availability will apply within the zone.

All time restrictions will be removed, but a new system for parking prices will mean that the longer you stay, the more you have to pay.

Paid parking will also be extended to 10pm (from 6pm) in busy entertainment areas to improve parking availability for customers.

New pricing will be introduced, with two price zones and hourly parking prices varying depending on demand. This means that the price for parking will be higher in the more central, busier areas and lower in areas where there is less demand for parking.

The Central City Parking Zone will support the use of on-street parking for short stays, and encourage people who want to park for longer to use parking buildings. To cater for people who need to make a quick stop, there will be a 10 minute grace period within the zone, and for longer stays the minimum amount payable will be $1.

By ensuring that some car parks are always available, we can reduce the need for drivers to search for car-parks, which in turn reduces congestion. A zone approach also significantly reduces the amount of signage required, which improves the streetscape, frees up footpath space and reduces maintenance costs.

Auckland Transport has run a number of parking zone trials in the Viaduct, Wynyard Quarter, Parnell and Graham and Hardinge Streets with very positive results. In the Viaduct the hours of pay and display were also extended until 10pm, which has improved the amount of parking available for visitor use.

There are some really good ideas in the proposal, including:

  • An effective 10 minutes of free parking throughout the city centre – making it easier for quick drop-offs and nipping into a place to get something.
  • A much simpler system that is easier to understand – and hopefully the removal of a huge amount of parking related signage from the central city.
  • The escalating cost of parking means that relatively short-stay can stay reasonably affordable whereas longer-stay users will migrate into parking buildings as it becomes increasingly costly to park on the street.
  • Extending the paying period to 10pm at night should make it easier to get a carpark if you’re visiting the city centre after 6pm. I get the feeling at the moment that many apartment dwellers park their cars on the street overnight, taking up places of people who want to visit a restaurant etc.

Parking is always a passionate issue and one that, for some strange reason, we really struggle to think reasonably about. While the high cost of 4 hours of on-street parking might get quite a few headlines, I hope that the scheme makes it through public consultation and becomes a reality.

Send Auckland Transport your feedback on the scheme here.

You can also listen to Auckland Transport’s Parking Operations Manager, Trevor Starr discussing it here

And here are the prices and map for each zone

Zone 1Zone 2
Duration​​ 8am – 6pm​​ 6pm – 10pm
& weekends​
​ 8am – 6pmSaturday

(Sunday Free) ​

$ Per Hour ​Total Cost​$ Per HourTotal Cost​$ Per Hour​ ​Total Cost$ Per HourT​otal Cost
1 hr​ $5.00​$5​.00$2.00​$2​.00$3.00​$3​.00$1.00​$1​.00
2 hrs​ $8.00​$13.00​$3.00​$5​.00$5.00​$8​.00$1.00​$2​.00
3 hrs​$8.00​$21.00​$3.00​$8​.00$5.00​$13​.00$1.00​$3​.00
4 hrs+​$8.00​$29.00​$3.00​$11​.00$5.00​$18​.00$1.00​$4.00

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  1. I get the feeling at the moment that many apartment dwellers park their cars on the street overnight,

    Well yeah, where else? If every apartment dweller’s car had to have a space in a parking building there would be a heck of a lot more parking buildings…or lots less spaces for casuals in the buildings.

    Funny that PT isn’t mentioned at all in the release.

    Nor of course is the significant revenue enhancement that will occur (just sayin’).

    1. No but PT was mentioned in that radio interview. Also it isn’t really about revenue as if it was they wouldn’t be removing the parks from places like Fort St for shared spaces (we saw a few months ago that it had a negative impact on parking revenue but of course a huge impact on the quality of the CBD)

  2. This is a really good step. I really like the elimination of time limits, and general simplification of street parking.

    It’s a real pity that the zone 2 has a Saturday rate rather than the a 6-10pm + weekends rate. Demand for parking in zone 2 is still high during these hours. Today I was at uni at for a seminar after work. I left princess street at 8:10pm. There were at least 6 double parked cars waiting to pick people up or for parks to free up. Every park on the street was full. I feel a charge of $1 per hour would be completely appropriate from 6-10pm and on Sundays in this area. Street parking in the CBD is far to valuable to give away free.

  3. I make use of the free after 6pm parking to go to resturants in the CBD.
    I also visit my parents who live in an apartment where there is free parking across the road on weekends.
    I don’t have too much of a problem finding a park in either case, knowing where to look.
    With the new charges I doubt I’ll be eating in the CBD again and will only be visiting my parents on Sundays.
    There are plenty of other places to eat with free parking. (Ponsonby, etc.)

    1. I agree, the problem on the weekend, specifically on at night or on a Sunday, is the public transport is not frequent enough to justify going to the city. As part of these charges they should increase bus and train frequencies.

      Just saying, charging is good, but we need to provide alternatives.

  4. That’s good – you no driving into town will increase the quality of space for us that live there or spend time there.

    I like the simplification – but unless we move to the European system where upon parking you put a small paper clock in the window showing what time you arrived, I don’t see how they can possibly effectively enforce the 10 minutes.

    1. That’s a very selfish view. I was going into the city for dining or entertainment before living in the CBD became popular so what gives you the moral high ground to keep people from out of the CBD away?

      As for the proposed changes, I like them.

      1. Oh, and I’ll stop driving into the CBD once there is more than hourly trips and they take less than 45 minutes each way OP (as opposed to 15 minutes by car).

        1. @Bryce – I wasn’t attempting to be selfish, rather pointing out that quality of place at some point has to take priority over those people moving through the city, and an outcome of that is we have to move away from the idea that people have a right to drive in and park cheaply in the city. If this means some people stop coming into the city so be it, as other people are likely to come instead. We’ve already seen this happening on Lorne Street, where once the shop owners were opposed to parking being removed they are now fully supporting the conversion of the rest of the street to a shared space (and along with it the removal of all the other parks).

          It all comes down to what is the best use of scarce land in the city, and I think you have to agree that simply using it to store cars isn’t really the best use. Parking IMO is a privilige not a right.

        2. Of course it’s a privilage hence we pay for it. I love going into the CBD but until PT improves it’s reach around Auckland markedly, it means people have to drive which means they have to park. Why should these people be excluded? After all, my rates are paying for some big changes around the CBD.

        3. I wasn’t complaining about parking charges more making a comment re:

          “That’s good – you no driving into town will increase the quality of space for us that live there or spend time there.”

          as if you deserve to be there and non-CBD residents don’t.

          It doesn’t matter anyway as I’ll still drive to town when I need to, like tonight.

  5. That’s good – you not driving into town will increase the quality of space for us that live there or spend time there.

    I like the simplification – but unless we move to the European system where upon parking you put a small paper clock in the window showing what time you arrived, I don’t see how they can possibly effectively enforce the 10 minutes.

        1. Not according to the map where Elliott, Fort and Darby are not included but Lorne St is.

  6. I think the 10minute rule is a bit difficult as it means the parking warden is going to have to wait for 10minutes at each location to give out fines…but I can see the theory behind it.

  7. So the point is to drive people off the kerbside parks and into parking buildings?

    I though the point was to encourage PT?

    Alec Swney’s “options” spiel is the same as AT’s when they tried to make you punch your rego number into the parking machine so you couldn’t give your ticket to someone else if ti had time left no?

    1. Yip, this is importantly the ‘stick’ approach to pushing people onto PT. It would be cool if we could just encourage people to take PT by subsidising it but there ain’t much money. Got to start raising money somehow.

      A good step in the right direction. Well in AT.

  8. Sounds like AT might be introducing new parking meters. Not sure, but if they are, then they should ensure that hop cards will be accepted and potentially give discount. If everyone has a hop card, then there is that temptation to actually use public transport!

  9. One thing I didn’t mention is that I would expect that the same scheme would roll out to the other main centres around Auckland like Henderson, New Lynn, Newmarket, Takapuna, Manukau etc.

    1. Before rolling it out to places people travel FROM, integrated ticketing and proper feeder bus service needs to happen. So sometime in the 22nd century then.

  10. This has nothIng to do with pushing people to pt, or pt at all actually.

    This is parking reform pure and simple, it’s about utilization and efficient management of a scarce resource. Even if we never had a single bus come into the city at any time of day or night we should still manage street parking like this.

    1. I agree. Parking policy and pricing is about extracting the most efficient use outcome from the resource.

  11. This is such a bullshit scheme, it is just going to drive poor people away from the city and banefit the richs. this scheme is just telling people that who have no money for parking shouldn’t drive a car into city.. It is not fare for the people like us so poor who rent in the city but there is no car parking provided so we have to go home after 6pm so we can have a parking space……and great news government is going take this space away from us….poor us poor city people who have a car

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