Friday, December 18, 2015

500 car spaces, 5 storeys, 17 million dollars - Park and Ride?

Park and Ride is a simple idea where enough car parking is provided at a transport node that would encourage people to drive a short distance and then use public transport for the rest of their journey. It is a popular model that is proven to work around the world. In Canberra we have a limited form of Park and Ride that has limited success. It can certainly be done better.

Ideally Park and Ride can act as an interchange for integrated bus and light rail services, as well as providing a safe place for commuters to park their cars while they travel to their place of work or study. In a perfect world they would be located with local shopping centres or other services to enable passive surveillance and safety.

The ACT Government is strongly anticipating that Park and Ride will be a key feature of it attracting new public transport users to Capital Metro Stage One, and not just the existing bus passengers that will transfer from the rapid bus service.

Calvary Hospital in Bruce, Belconnen has had a parking shortage for several years as its facilities have expanded, and surface parking has not met the increasing demand. Despite the hospital being located on the Belconnen to Civic bus route, few workers and patients use that service. Overflow parking has spilled onto the surrounding native bush with cars parked illegally and in less than optimal conditions.

Several years ago the ACT Government approved a project to build a multi-storey carpark with 500 spaces. It has just been completed, two months early and at a cost of $17 million. The building is a fairly straightforward design. It is exactly the type of facility that should be considered for Park and Ride sites along the Capital Metro Stage One route.

For people to choose public transport over their private car, it must be reliable, frequent and attractive. Good parking facilities like the new Calvary facility are far more attractive than an asphalt or gravel surface carpark.

You can read about the Calvary carpark at the ABC Online link here.

For more frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news, please visit our Facebook page 'Light Rail for Canberra'. 

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