Over 10,000 motorists take up free hour of parking
Nearly 70 per cent of motorists using the Smarter Parking meters have not had to pay in the system’s first week.
There have been 15,948 transactions involving the meters since Smarter Parking began on Monday 3 February, with 10,633 of those transactions only claiming a free hour of parking.
This hour would have previously cost $2 an hour under the former parking system.
Of those remaining 5315 transactions, over 4000 were using tap and go and 1300 were using coins.
More than 7000 residents have also downloaded the CellOPark app, with a 25 per cent increase in uptake over the past four days.
There have also been 10,000 hits on the Parking Ballarat website, which includes a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions, a map of where the coin and card operated meters are located, instructional videos and the Facebook Live Question and Answer session with Mayor Cr Ben Taylor and senior council officer Amy Boyd.
Cr Taylor said he was pleased to see residents had adapted so quickly to the Smarter Parking Plan.
“We’ve asked our community to undertake a massive behavioural change and they have responded very well,” Cr Taylor said.
“These figures show people are still parking in the CBD and using the new system
“Like all transformative projects we are all learning as we go but our parking staff on the street are reporting people are quickly understanding the new system and are finding it simpler to use than the previous system.
“Under the former parking regime, 3898 faulty meters were reported to our customer service staff in one year alone.
“Also, there were six different meters in use and several different time zones, with only 300 meters out of 700 accepting card transactions.
“It was really confusing and difficult to navigate so we are glad people are finding this system easier to use – no more tickets, no more walking back to your car to put the ticket on the dashboard.
“And obviously the first hour of free parking has been a big winner with residents, with nearly 70 per cent of motorists not having to pay a cent for parking in the first week.”
Cr Taylor said the CellOPark infrastructure was also used in Brisbane, Warrnambool and a wide range of universities including University of Sydney, University of Queensland and Flinders, Macquarie, ANU, La Trobe and Curtin universities.
“This new plan and infrastructure was adopted following the largest community consultation process ever undertaken by the City of Ballarat and we believe it will provide a fantastic parking system for our rapidly growing city for several decades to come.”