Transperth installed the machines at their carparks to cover the $2 paid parking which came into effect on July 1.
Janice Teo, who uses the smartparker system and is a regular commuter to Perth from Whitfords station, objects to the way way Transperth is trying to get commuters to convert to the new system.
‘Transperth are being really thoughtless and arrogant,’ she said. ‘They have not given any thought to the inconvenience it now causes commuters who need to buy a physical ticket.’
She said it related to the placement of the machines.
‘Putting the pay and display machines next to the smartparkers instead of in the carpark area forces passengers to walk up and down three times ” to the ticket machine, back to the car, then back to the station ” before being able to catch a train,’ she said.
‘It can be a very long walk, especially if you’ve parked at the far end of the carpark. That ramp in Whitfords down to the basement carpark is a big hike if you’ve got a a toddler or are in a wheelchair.’
Perth Transit Authority spokesman David Hynes said Transperth made a calculated decision.
‘Transperth has made a deliberate decision to place the smartparker and cash machines together, close to the entrance of each station to make smartparker the more attractive,’ he said.
‘That way, passengers using smartparker don’t need to get a printed ticket and return to their car to display it. In other words, we are actively trying to discourage people paying for their parking with cash by making smartparker more attractive.’
Mr Hynes said Whitfords had four smartparker and two pay and display machines.
‘About 90 per cent of transactions are done on the smartparker machines, the remaining 10 per cent use Pay and Display, one third (3.3 per cent overall) are using smartrider cards to pay for parking,’ he said.
‘Only 6.7 per cent of all carpark users are opting to pay by cash.’
However, Ms Teo disagreed with the authority’s approach.
‘What if a commuter is disabled, or injured?’ she said. ‘Or if they have young children with them or are pushing prams? Or if they have heavy items?
‘Why not have one pay and display machine in the middle of the actual carpark area as well as next to the smart parker machines?
‘That would have been far more user-friendly and considerate. This way, Transperth is treating non-smartparker users like second class citizens.’