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Home Features Car park management: the surprising cost of boom gates and ticketing
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DEPARTMENTSDepartment of Parliamentary Services, National Capital Authority
TAGS Department of Defence, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parking, Parking lot, National Capital Authority, Parking meter, Ticket machine, Pay and display, Tickets, Duncan Solutions Ltd, secure car parks
Local governments may have this down pat, but for two federal agencies who found themselves running a side-business in paid parking the last six months have been a period of fast learning. Finding somewhere to park wasn’t the only frustration.
Boom gates and ticketing, or inspectors, clamping and towing — running a paid car parking lot does require some specialist understanding, as Canberra agencies are quickly learning.
The National Capital Authority and the Department of Parliamentary Services — as holders of extremely valuable crown land close to major public agencies and tourist spots — are learning how to run a side-business in paid parking.
The NCA moved first, directed by the government to implement paid parking in the parliamentary triangle as a revenue generator for Treasury (NCA won’t keep a cent for their own activities). Starting in October 2014, laws were changed to make it an offence to park a vehicle on open space and landscaped areas around the leafy parliamentary triangle. From NCA’s perspective, pay parking solved one ongoing problem: where do visitors to the national institutions get to park if all the spaces in the triangle are used by public servants?
It wasn’t an easy ride though. NCA implemented a “pay and display” setup involved electronic ticket machines from Duncan Solutions with printed tickets that you could pay for with coins or a credit card, and parking inspectors. Initially there were problems with the five-day tickets, which have proved the most popular for workers. However, the Department of Defence decided its staff would be subsidised, so a bespoke modification was introduced so Defence officials could register their credit card and receive a significantly discounted daily rate.
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Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and reported for titles including Crikey and the Star Observer.
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