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Park and Ride project initiated by Greater Wellington

A project on managing the use of Metlink Park and Ride facilities at train stations has been initiated by Greater Wellington’s Transport Committee.

The purpose of the project is to develop a framework that encourages access to the rail network while ensuring that public transport users are prioritised over people who currently use free parking at Park and Rides for other reasons.

Committee chair Thomas Nash says the framework would also guarantee a spot for public transport users disadvantaged by the current ‘first come, first served’ parking access model at Park and Rides.

“Metlink passengers currently have to compete for parking space in our Park and Rides with people not catching our trains or buses,” Cr Nash says.

“In addition, we understand that many passengers who live within walking distance of our stations often choose to drive to a station with a Park and Ride. We would like to influence better travel choices as part of council’s emissions management responsibilities.

“At the moment, everyone pays for Park and Rides through their rates whether they use them or not. We are going to look at introducing user chargers, which we think is a fairer way to manage these public car parking resources.

“We’ll investigate managing access to Park and Rides with your public transport ticket and look at combining parking charges with fares for onward train and bus travel. We’ll also work with councils to coordinate any parking charges with those on neighbouring streets.

“This project is not focused on generating revenue. Income would only offset the cost of installing and maintaining charging infrastructure. The project is about making the most of Park and Rides to reduce emissions and traffic congestion by encouraging people to get out of their cars.”

Across 66 Park and Rides in the Wellington Region, there are approximately 6,140 car parks with total annual operating costs of approximately $710,000 per annum.

Two-thirds of the parking spaces are owned by Greater Wellington or KiwiRail, with the other third owned by local councils and private bodies.

Councillors agreed the project must be designed and delivered in partnership with the region’s city and district councils and mana whenua and that the option of integrating parking charges with fares will be explored.

Managing Park and Ride demand by imposing a charge was initially consulted on for the 2021 review of the Wellington Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) and has recently been workshopped with the council’s Public Transport Advisory Group.

Further public feedback will be sought through consultation for the 2024 RPTP review.

For more information visit: Transport-Committee-22-February-2024-Order-Paper-v2.pdf (gw.govt.nz)

 https://www.gw.govt.nz/assets/Documents/2024/02/Transport-Committee-22-February-2024-Order-Paper-v2.pdf

 

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