Is Park-and-Ride a Good Idea?


Murdoch Park 'n' Ride, Perth
Image via Wikipedia

Be cautious about Park-and-Ride, especially in dense areas (Reinventing Parking, Aug. 23, 2010)

Also discussed here: Parking Management – Strategies, Evaluation and Planning (30 page pdf) Victoria Transport Policy Institute, July 16, 2010)

And here: Park and ride (Wikipedia)

Today’s review post flags several disadvantages of park and ride, especially in Asia from where Park-and-Ride lots are located in high valued areas of large cities when better uses could be made of them. In the US and Canada, the use of P&R varies but these cautions about where to site them need to be considered. Alternative uses of P&R other than to encourage public transport also need to be considered

Key Quotes:

“P&R in dense areas with high property prices involves a very large subsidy”

“strategies that are almost certainly more effective, less costly and more space-efficient than car parking for commuters:

  • complementary bus service, including feeder buses
  • bicycle park-and-ride
  • motorcycle-based park-and-ride, and
  • excellent pedestrian environments and links around stations”

“One exception:.. park-and-ride might be a cost-effective daytime use of residential parking that would otherwise have low-occupancy in those hours”

“If we stop subsidising parking at stations would drivers really just drive to their city centre jobs? I guess some would. But city centre parking is (or should be) very expensive [again that is another story!]”

“often located at the urban fringe where parking is free or significantly less expensive than in urban centers.

..Without such incentives, peripheral parking facilities are often underused while core parking is congested.“

“The aim is to reduce these problems by making it easier for people to use public transport in an urban area with traffic congestion, and to reduce the need for more central car parks where there are competing demands for land use”

“Park and ride schemes do not necessarily involve public transport. They can be provided to reduce the number of cars on the road by promoting carpooling and carsharing.”

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One Response

  1. In the short term, P&R is a good idea to reduce the parking required in city centres which is a worse use of space in a higher density area compared to where most P&R lots are usually located.

    However, in the long term, P&R won’t be economic. It is far too costly to provide commuter transportation for the masses who travel much more than the average 8 kms, regardless of whether it’s car, car+public, or just public.

    The notion that (in Ottawa) we live in the far east suburb of Orleans and commute across the centre of the city to work in the far west suburb of Kanata won’t survive the coming energy crunch, and neither will living in Kemptville for the ‘country urban’ lifestyle and commuting to Ottawa to work (along with all the other variations of long commutes), whether we park downtown or at the edge of public transit service.

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