Yesterday Auckland Transport announced that they’d discovered they can change parking prices across the region.

From 28 August new hourly rates will apply for on-street parking and parking at Auckland Transport-managed parking buildings across the region, Auckland Transport says.

The revised parking charges from next Monday are the first region-wide changes to parking charges in over a decade – since Auckland Transport was formed in November 2010.

AT’s review of parking charges comes after clear direction from Mayor Wayne Brown to review parking prices in his Letter of Expectation to AT last December.

In the letter, the Mayor stressed the importance of AT prioritising affordability and value for money, while exploring options “to increase external income and reduce reliance on rates funding”.

“One key area Auckland Transport should investigate is increasing revenue from parking. Currently Auckland Transport is undercutting market rates for parking, which is not appropriate in this environment,” the Mayor wrote in the Letter of Expectation.

AT Executive General Manager Service Delivery Andrew Allen says these changes bring parking charges more in line with public transport fares, which are reviewed annually.

“We have had strong feedback from many Aucklanders that if we are reviewing the cost of our public transport fares each year, we should be doing the same for our parking charges,” Mr Allen says.

“These changes are also consistent with Auckland Transport’s Room to Move strategy which outlines how Auckland’s management of parking can help improve the efficiency of our roads, while keeping parking options available for Aucklanders who need them.

“The extra revenue generated each year will go towards covering Auckland Transport’s operating expenses, including for running Auckland’s public transport network and continuing to deliver road safety programmes.”

How parking prices are changing from 28 August

  • The cost of on-street parking across Auckland will increase by $1 an hour. Hourly charges for parking at all AT-managed carparks will also increase by $1.
  • The weekday price cap for the Downtown Car Park will decrease from $40 to $24. This change is designed to address the low utilisation of the carpark during weekdays and is expected to increase revenue as a result.
  • Off-peak price caps for the Downtown Carpark are also changing from $10 to $15 for evening and weekend day-long parking.
  • Price caps in place at other AT parking facilities are not changing at this time.
  • Free weekend parking will be trialled at the Toka Puia carpark in Takapuna.

There are a couple of things this announcement really highlights

  1. How unbalanced our transport charging system has been that while there have been some localised changes, that this is the first region-wide change in parking prices in more than a decade while public transport fares go up almost every year. It’s good to see AT finally acknowledge that disparity – though they don’t actually say parking costs will be reviewed annually from now on so it remains to be seen if this is just a one off.
  2. Just how quickly AT are able to make changes when they want to, and to compare that to how long they’re planning on dragging out changes to parking as part of their parking strategy.
  3. The text of the press release also suggests they’re only really making this change by hiding behind Mayor Wayne Brown, rather than pushing to do it because it is the right thing to do.

The one thing I do think is odd is dropping the downtown carpark daily cap. This is the part of the city that has the very best public transport connections and regardless, the site is meant to be being sold for a new development – though we haven’t heard much on that recently.

AT say the change will increase the amount of parking revenue they collect by about $6 million. To put that in perspective, the highest annual parking revenue AT have achieved is just under $49 million in 2018 and only a tiny amount less in 2019. It’s unclear if parking revenues have recovered back to those levels since the COVID restrictions ended.

Of course just how much revenue AT actually collect might depend on the level of enforcement AT undertake, and as we’ve highlighted before, the government seem keen to encourage illegal parking by not changing fine levels.

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  1. ???
    Councils shouldn’t be using ‘parking buildings to support commuter parking, encourage car use and increase emissions.

    Parking buildings parking prices should be demand driven and priced in the same manner as on-street parking.

    i.e. $X per hour for the first 2 hours and then $2X after two hours.
    X being anything from $0 up to about the on-street rate & reviewed, say, 6 monthly, with the day split into a small number of periods or relatively similar demand.

    1. It says the drop in weekday price cap for the Downtown Car Park from $40 to $24 is due to low utilisation. Its not surprising as there are still cheaper options even after the drop. Its the only place where charges have reduced. I wouldn’t say $24 per day on top of vehicle running costs is encouraging

      1. How do you think they calculate increased revenue overall, on the back of lower weekday price caps?

        More people parking? Which means more people driving into the city centre.

        AT seem to want the Downtown Carpark to be better-utilised for its brief remaining life for dubious reasons of appearance about efficiency, or perhaps so that they can justify decisions about “mitigating the loss” of the parking in the Downtown Carpark elsewhere.

        An organisation focused on modeshift would not lower the price cap. It would ensure elected leaders are aware of the low-utilisation of the Downtown Carpark, to minimise any political difficulties about its removal for a better city.

        1. 100% Heidi.
          This is about trying to get Panuku to pay them to release the Downtown carpark building. They pulled the same trick in Takapuna and made Panuku build them a car park the replace the at-grade car park Panuku had to redevelop. The Takapuna car park would never have stacked up as an investment if AT had tried to put together a business case so they made Panuku pay for it instead.

      1. Not if AT require the developer to provide stuff as part of the development. Every request AT makes comes off the sale price bottom line. At one point AT wanted the development agreement to include a replacement car park for AT. It would have meant AC would have had to pay the developer to redevelop the site.

  2. Also the entrance to carpark is on the same route as the main northern entry for all buses to the CBD. Just astounding really to have all those cars mixing with huge numbers of buses.

    Sell the building now and make a full 24/7 busway from the motorway off ramp through to eastern side Parnell. Strictly enforced so all the taxis cannot just sit there with their hazards on. Big fines – $500.

  3. ‘Free weekend parking will be trialled at the Toka Puia carpark in Takapuna.’

    Sums up everything about Takapuna and those crazed Heart of Takapuna or whatever they are called that lobbied and lobbied and stifled progress saying they needed lots and lots of carparks. Rate payers shouldn’t be subsidising massive million dollar car park facilities to give it away for free.

    Also with fines cheaper than parking in some areas I epxect to see even more entitled Auckland drivers leaving their cars in selfish places.

    1. Drove past the Toka Puia sign on Esmonde rd at 1pm on Sunday.

      Not exactly peak time, but – 384 spaces available…

      Wonder how the return on the $30M cost is going?

      1. Don’t forget, our safety targets have to be worsened because there’s “not enough money” for improved safety.

        1. They could improve safety just by getting drivers to use the kilometers of free, legal on-street parking around town, instead of paveparking all over the place.

          Don’t go handing out fines, just borrow the forkift from *that* guy in Onehunga and correct the mistakes.

        1. Yep and the Shore Mall one has 2 hrs free so guess where people park?
          Funny how the private car parking wasn’t included in the parking study that attempted to justify the new Takapuna car park.

      2. From my front yard I can see the car park sign, so I can tell you that the return on $30 million is proceeding dismally.
        I laugh every day at the ineptitude of those who thought this would stack up economically. The whole fiasco could have been avoided if the AT Parking Strategy had been adhered to.
        Does the local Business Association still think a second parking building is needed?

  4. “AT’s review of parking charges comes after clear direction from Mayor Wayne Brown to review parking prices in his Letter of Expectation to AT last December.” – do AT listen to Brown but not Goff? Or did Goff never ask?

  5. Well done AT. Now to enforce it. While waiting interminably for the necessary changes from central government, AT could quite easily make much more use of tow-aways and other initiatives like placing ultra-sticky window stickers on illegal parkers’ cars. Cheap to implement but really effective at deterring repeat offenders.

        1. “This is not the time to impose additional costs on people” A cost which no one has to pay unless they choose to park illegally. What pathetic reasoning.

  6. Parking enforcement pays for itself.

    Hell, you could cover the annual salary of one warden by setting them up in a comfy chair beside the single disabled park on High St that is relentlessly abused.

    1. Labour currently feels that increasing enforcement charges would be unpopular with voters. Its core support is low income earners. There are a number of news stories today about the how the higher parking charges will affect students living in places like Howick who travel to Auckland University. Admittedly not enforcing the law on parking is not a great way of helping this group.

      1. Retaining car dependency, but changing parking prices slightly, will not address the fundamental mathematics of a cost-of-living crisis.

      2. Ah yes I commuted to university from Howick. Getting the bus at 7am and still missing my 9am lecture as the bus toddled through the various dog legs of Pakuranga, Panmure, Ellerslie, Greenlane, Newmarket… Since the bus was hourly the other option was the 6am – usually made it just in time for an 8am lecture.

        No lecture recordings in those days! If you missed it you missed it.

    2. It puzzles me too. There isn’t a traffic light in Auckland which wouldn’t return a six or seven figure sum annually from a red light camera issuing fines.

      Council could plug the budget hole AND save lives at the same time!

  7. The most hilarious complaint was from the AA. How do we have a society that believes that the street is your private place to park a car? It seems odd to me.

    A case in point being just how much more pleasant Te Wai Horotiu Queen Street has become since extending the footpath. Anyone living near a public transport hub would understand how easy it is to access the city centre by any other means than a private automobile.

    Absolutely well done to AT for admitting they have not done anything for a decade regarding climate change, but perhaps this is a signal they do actually believe the younger generations; that climate denial is not survivable. Interesting new signs in the train today too, although making it personal is a bit too BP for me.

    OUT THE DOOR / ON THE TRAIN / REDUCE OUR EMISSIONS would be a better “team of two million” message.

    But as former Councillor Efeso Collins boldly expressed, we must abandon the 1950s philosophy, and aspire to a city where automobiles are only operated by those who enjoy the stress of driving!

    1. > The most hilarious complaint was from the AA. How do we have a society that believes that the street is your private place to park a car? It seems odd to me.

      If you couch it in language the neoliberal economists will understand, they will soon understand their hipocrisy. E.g. “user pays”, “market efficiencies”, “stop freeloaders”. That kind of language in the 1990s got rid of all those things like public swimming pools didn’t it?

  8. I am surprised we do not have a “Motorist over parking fee insurance” if you park the car and get back a few minutes late for a genuine reason, like maybe the doctors visit took a little longer, the fine can be waived or reduced, of course if you have a history of parking fines, you loose the “good motorist bonus”

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