Parking: easier and simpler

by Heart Of Auckland CEO Alex Swney
In this city that has more cars than it does registered drivers, the role of car parking has a significant impact on how well business performs.

Here in the city we rely on having a retail and business proposition that will attract customers past suburban shopping malls where the parking is free.

All free parking does is fill up the streets and car park buildings on a first-come first-served basis and kill parking capacity. Clearly free parking in a CBD environment is unsustainable.

During business hours the CBD population burgeons to 170,000 – the equivalent of our fourth largest city.

So, what we need is a parking offer that is relevant to the unique way that CBD business performs.

Today Auckland Transport announced a substantial step change in the way we deliver parking for our city customers. Gone are time limits – stay as long as you like. But there will be a graduated fare that encourages you to consider alternative parking options in car park buildings where the price has been reduced.

The same $4:00 per hour remains for the first two hours. But after that it probably makes sense to park in a car park building. There the rate has been reduced to $3:00 per hour (less than the cost of a flat white) equating to a reduced daily charge of $17:00 i.e. $2.12 per hour for an eight hour stay.

It’s all about making the best use of the 2,800 street car parks and the 3,500 council owned car parks by providing a coordinated suite of parking offers that more closely meets the needs of our customers.

Gone are the P15s, P30s and P60s that have never had much relevance to our customers who on average spend just under two hours per visit.

Heart of Auckland City has worked closely with Auckland Transport on the development of this offer. We are convinced that today they have delivered parking offers that are driven by service rather than revenue.

Parking in the city will be easy and simple while providing greater choice.

SIDEBAR: gone are the 1,000 parking signs in the city carrying 128 different parking messages replaced with 400 single message “P$ Zone” signs.

New city centre parking zone in October