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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.