Waterloo Park & Ride opening provides an extra 160 spaces
Waterloo Park & Ride officially opened on Friday 13, combatting the growing demand for more parking spaces as more people opt to leave their cars at the station and train to work.
Peter Jackson, who represents Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika Port Nicholson Settlement Block Trust, opened the event with a karakia and mihimihi before Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Daran Ponter spoke about the council's ongoing commitment to sustainable transport.
The opening of the new car park adds 160 spaces, bringing a total of 779 park and ride spaces at Waterloo Station and making it the second largest on Wellington's regional rail network.
"Recent census data shows regional population growth has accelerated much faster than forecast over the last five years. We have seen an increase of 11,000 people in the city and a staggering 23,000 across the rest of the region."
With this increase in population comes an increase in public transport users, Cr Ponter explains.
"We reached a new annual patronage high of 14.3 million passengers in 2019, which is an increase of 800,000 passengers on the previous year."
Daran says while this car park will temporarily deal with capacity issues, it is not a long-term solution, and Council will need to look at charging for park & ride use in future.
"Pricing is proposed as a key tool for managing demand at busy park & ride sites when expanding the car parks is not practical, and where improving other access options are not sufficient to manage demand.
"This could be introduced more cost-effectively once integrated ticketing on trains is implemented. Pricing would mean people will need to make conscious, rational, economic decisions when choosing to drive their cars to the train station."
The new car park is on the site of the old bus depot and includes improvements such as storm water rain gardens, CCTV surveillance and improved accessibility access.
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