Wellington Scoop

More car parks at Waterloo station – now 779 of them

News from Greater Wellington Regional Council
Waterloo Park & Ride officially opened today, 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 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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  1. Brendan, 15. December 2019, 9:48

    And guess who is paying? The long suffering ratepayer. Rail car parking needs to be charged. $5 a day at least. Why is NZ so backward? UK, Canada, Australia have been charging for years.

  2. Cr Daran Ponter, 15. December 2019, 22:29

    @ Brendan: Should have been there bro – you would have heard me say exactly that. With the agreement of my councillor colleagues, paying for park and ride is likely to become a “thing” once we have full integrated ticketing in place.

  3. ace, 16. December 2019, 8:04

    “Pricing would mean people will need to make conscious, rational, economic decisions when choosing to drive their cars to the train station.” I don’t get this. What alternative do people have? Biking all the way in? Changing jobs? Seems like extreme alternatives. People using park and ride are being conscientious by not driving all the way into town. Charging money isn’t going to change their decision. The same people will take the same parks, except now they’re losing money for it.

    I’d rather it be kept free and be kept first in first serve. It’s the fairest in my eyes. Those who need the parks will demonstrate it by arriving earlier.

  4. Brendan, 16. December 2019, 11:29

    Unfortunately I have a job Daran and was working (to pay my ever-increasing rates bill) so I could not listen to you advocate for rail car parkers to pay something for their car park space. I look forward to a charge being put on car parking, but why wait for integrated ticketing? Lease the car parks to a private car park operator. Let them decide what to charge and let them bid on this basis. Let’s Get Wellington rail commuters paying something for parking their cars all day.

  5. GrahamCA, 16. December 2019, 12:18

    Park and ride is still free for bus users (just look at the streets around Hataitai to see how they fill up between 7.30 and 8.15am and empty by 6.30pm). The economic benefit from getting those vehicles off the road and their occupants into trains outweighs the costs.

  6. James, 16. December 2019, 13:08

    What’s the latest timescale on integrated ticketing? This seems to have been ‘just round the corner’ for years.

  7. Rory Fitzgerald, 16. December 2019, 18:14

    Every time this new Council and Councilors open their mouths it’s all “increasing costs they are facing” and softly softly preparing for the huge shocks we will get with rate increases. House values alone, plus house insurance rates, are driving many from their homes and areas. The train car park should be kept free. After all the Council wants to spend millions on building houses for homeless people when it is the Government’s responsibility. Get their act together, they need to run the services of the city well and plan well. That’s their purpose. You cannot be all things to all people. All the rate paying people in the Hutt don’t have the finances to support that ideal.