Monday, April 19, 2010

Carpool coddling

From Lynn: North Shore City commuters have always received better treatment from their council than Waihekeans have received from ACC. ACC received our fee park and ride facility on amalgamation. Then they charged us. Isthmus commuters have a choice of car or bus and sometimes even the train. Waihekeans have only the ferry and the bus routes are not extensive enough to cover all areas of the island.

From the NZ Herald:
Carpool commuters leaving their cars for the day at stations for the Northern Busway and cross-harbour ferries can look forward to VIP treatment.
The North Shore City Council is considering rewarding them with parking spots close to the Albany and Constellation Drive Busway Stations and the Bayswater and Devonport ferry terminals.
Most weekdays, the 550 spaces at Albany and 360 at Constellation Drive are full from an early hour.
Mayor Andrew Williams suggested parking spaces could go further if preferential parking were given to vehicles with two or three passengers.
"We give an incentive of a better parking position and more certainty of getting a parking space," he said.
But preferential treatment is not what Albany station user Rachel White seeks.
She said yesterday she drove 5km to the station from her semi-rural home to catch the Northern Flyer across the harbour bridge to her city job.
"It's a fantastic bus service ... my only gripe is that finding a park is getting worse.
"The station park is full by 7.30am when it's not term break for the tertiary students.
"Since the council opened bus lanes on Rose Elliott Ave in November, kerbside parking has been banned.
"People park wherever they can and we are forced to walk 10 minutes to the station.
"Yet you hardly see a bus come by and the road is so wide that the bus lanes are not essential at this stage.
"Why can't kerbside parking be allowed again until more station parks are provided?"
Mrs White said she was unable to carpool, and her area was not served by buses feeding the station.
Busway stations manager Anthony Blom said the road was always marked for the lanes but kerb parking was allowed for about two years until it was needed for buses serving Albany Mall.
Passenger transport manager Bill Drager said it was hoped to double the spaces available at the station by February.
Albany was the busiest station, and park-and-ride facilities encouraged bus users who otherwise would drive to their destination.
No date is set for introducing the preferential parking scheme.
Motorists registering with the carpool would get a windscreen sticker.
Security cameras would anyone using the sticker without the required number of passengers, which is still to be set.
Campaign for Better Transport spokesman Cameron Pitches agreed with the move to reward people who made more efficient use of cars.
He said the council could not keep on dedicating more land to car parking.
At the Bayswater ferry terminal, the council hopes to settle a deal with the marina owners to lease the paid parking area, providing more convenient free parking for ferry customers.
It will split the $5 parking fee with ferry operator Fullers and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

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