From January 21 the capped price for parking at the Auckland Transport-owned car park will rise from $24 to $40 a day.
The capped rate kicks in for those who park for more than five hours.
At the same time its hourly rate will rise from $4 to $4.50.
A spokesman for Auckland Transport said the Downtown car parking building was frequently full meaning parking was not available for people who were going into the city centre to do business.
“Auckland Transport wants to encourage short-term parking in this building rather than all day parking.”
AT don’t just want to encourage short stay parking, it’s their formal policy, as can be seen here.
The management of off-street parking facilities is designed to align with AT’s strategic objectives, which are focussed on a mode shift towards public transport to help minimise traffic congestion. To achieve this, AT’s policies will prioritise short stay parking over commuter parking, and achieve a consistent approach to setting parking rates.
And here’s what they say triggers changes
As noted above, AT target an 85% occupancy rate and they report on this (for all city centre carparks as a whole) on a monthly basis in their stats report that goes to the board. The most recent one for off-street parking is below and is regularly at or over 90%.
While AT don’t publicly breakdown the occupancy, we can get an idea from the Downtown Carpark bot on twitter (created by reader Geogoose). If you compare the downtown one to the Civic and Victoria St carparks you’ll see it’s much more consistently busy.
In fact, perhaps what’s surprising is that it’s taken this long to make any changes to the price. The last change was in July 2015 when they raised the daily cap from $17 to $24. The hourly rate the same and I’m not sure how long it’s been at $4.
So what are the alternative? As the policy notes, and AT repeat in the article, they want to shift more people to using public transport to get to the city. Our PT network has improved significantly in recent years to the point that more people arrive in the city each morning by means other than in a car and in some corridors, such as Symonds St and Fanshawe St, 70-80% of people arrive by PT.
Perhaps AT could further help people to find their PT options by putting information at the downtown carparks, why not even have someone who can sell loaded HOP cards for those that don’t have them.
For those that still want to drive, there are plenty of other carparks in the city, here are some of the closest ones.
- The nearest one, the Viaduct carpark is less than 200m away. It charges $12 an hour with a maximum of $45.
- Not far away to the south is the SAP building on Wyndham St. There you’ll pay $15 an hour capped at $60.
- To the east is the Britomart carpark which charges $12 an hour to a maximum of $45.
Some of these do have earlybird parking but what they show is that if anything, even ATs new rates are still well below the market.