Paid parking underway at train stations

PTA spokesman David Hynes.
PTA spokesman David Hynes.

The $2 a day charge came into effect across Perth today, allowing commuters to link their vehicle registration plate with their SmartRider card, but drew criticism from the Opposition Transport spokesman Ken Travers.

Mr Travers labelled the State Government’s paid parking move a revenue-raising exercise, arguing the charge was brought in to cover the on-going operating costs of the Edgewater train station car park.

‘The decision by Government to introduce the paid parking was taken at the same time as the multi-story car park,’ Mr Travers said.

‘The Government refuses to provide the annual operating cost of the multi-storey car park but we have been able to establish it is somewhere between $4 and $5 million per year.

‘The revenue from paid parking is $6.1 million.’

Mr Travers said revenue raised from the paid parking charge would not be kept by the PTA, rather directed to the Treasury’s Consolidated Account.

State Transport Minister Dean Nalder defended the new paid parking initiative, adding the average Transperth passenger paid around one third of actual cost after the State Government’s operating subsidy to the PTA.

‘The Government provides an operating subsidy to the Public Transport Authority of $558 million in 2014-15 and $2.5 billion over the next four years,’ Mr Nalder said.

‘The cost recovery rate for Perth metropolitan public transport is projected to be about 32.1 per cent in 2014-15.

‘That means the average Transperth passenger pays about one third of the actual cost of their fare.’

Mr Hynes said the charge was the PTA’s way of ensuring Transperth parking bays are kept available for public transport passengers.

‘After using SmartParker, you must then tag on to a Transperth bus or train or you will not be able to swipe into SmartParker the next time you park,’ he said.

Parking attendants will be able to use license plate recognition software to check if parking has been paid for.