Message from the CEO – Stuart Norman
When federal governments start making announcements about funding additional car parking at public transport interchanges, then it’s a sure sign an election is around the corner. However, they are not alone with the Labor opposition also making an announcement providing monies for car parking at train stations. These announcements are easily made by federal governments as it is not their land and still requires the state governments to agree to the projects.
These announcements come off the back of the Victorian Labor government successfully using this strategy in key seats as part of the 2018 Victorian election and the NSW government highlighting their construction of car parking at train stations with entry linked to their public transport ticketing system.
What this tells me is that both the major political parties have undertaken research into what the electorate see as key issues and it’s clear that car parking near to public transport is a vote winner. This also signals that people prefer to use their own car for the first mile and the last mile. Some public transport advocates will not welcome these announcements as they believe commuters should leave their cars at home entirely.
My view is that by providing parking at or near public transport interchanges authorities are providing the commuter with choice. Choice is a good thing whether it is provided by the public or private sector. These announcements also indicate that car parking is a key aspect of the transportation sector and help provide a solution to the issue of congestion.
For too long there has been a concerted effort by some that car use is a bad thing and that governments should introduce policies to discourage people driving. These latest announcements should provide those in the car parking industry with some encouragement that governments are listening to the electorate, who want the choice to use both their car and public transport.
With state government revenues anticipated to decrease significantly due to a slump in stamp duty collected from the sale of properties, state government may look at how they can recoup some of the expenditure made in building car parks. One such way may be to engage the private sector to manage these facilities ensuring that they run effectively, and so additional car parks can be constructed.
One thing we do know in the lead up to the federal and NSW elections, is that parking will form part of a solution to congestion and will continue to be a hot topic among the major political parties.