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Park and ride drives increase in traffic

Monday, 11 February 2013
Author: Liam Mannix, Indaily

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THE Entertainment Centre park-and-ride has reduced the total number of people catching public transport and increased the number of cars on the road, research has found.

More than half the people using the park-and-ride previously caught public transport from home all the way into the city.

Those people now drive to the park-and-ride and then catch a tram - meaning, in total, more cars are on the road.

The park-and-ride opened in 2010 and offers 700 car parking spaces next to a tram station. All-day parking costs $2 - substantially less than in the city - and the tram is free. The system is designed to encourage people to replace car trips with public transport.

Park and Ride: An Adelaide Case Study, published last year by a team from the University of Adelaide, raises questions about the State Government's increased investment in park-and-ride facilities throughout the state. The data in the paper was gathered in the months after the Entertainment Centre park and ride was opened.

"These results show a disturbing increase in car use, which is demonstrated not only by the number of people shifting away from public transport but also by distances travelled," the report said.

The study found 62.7 per cent of the park-and-ride's users had replaced a public transport journey from home into the city with a car trip to the park-and-ride.

Because the tram from the Entertainment Centre was free, the government was actually losing revenue it would have recouped from those journeys.

The study suggested pricing may have some impact on this trend. Parking at the park-and-ride costs $2, which is less than the cost of a single-trip bus ticket, currently $4.90.

Location is also suggested as a factor. The Entertainment Centre is the closest park-and-ride to the city - about 4.5km. Nearly all of the other park-and-rides are in the outer suburbs.

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