Warrnambool City Council looks set to make about $1.2 million from paid parking this financial year.
The new meters in the city centre have been in place for six months and new data show there about 5000 to 6000 sessions are paid daily.
The council’s infrastructure director Scott Cavanagh said parking meter money went to funding more parks and upkeep including sealing, linemarking and CCTV.
“It is important to view parking in the city centre as a user-pays system, where people driving into the CBD pay to use parking spaces and cover the cost of maintaining carparks, enforcement of time limits and the creation of new carparks including disabled bays and linkages,” he said.
“This means that pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users are not paying for the parking needs of motorists. The revenue from the meters is at anticipated levels given that we had a focus on education and not enforcement during the transition to the new parking system.
“Our draft budget for 2018-19 anticipates parking revenue of about $1.2 million.”
Mr Cavanagh said the number of paid sessions suggested the city centre was as busy as it always was in terms of people coming in to the CBD by car.
“During May about 25,000 sessions were paid for each week, 6000 of which were managed using the smartphone app,” he said.
More than 3200 have registered with the Cellopark mobile phone app, which Mr Cavanagh said was a “huge uptake”.
“This indicates that Warrnambool motorists are tech-savvy and wanted the convenience of managing their parking via smart phone,” he said
“The providers of the app have told us that the number of people using the app in Warrnambool is proportionally very high compared to other cities.”
He said in May, almost one-third of parking meter fees had been paid using the app, which indicated it was proving to be a convenient payment method.
Motorists can move from one zone to another under the ticketing structure.
“We are yet to conduct surveys on whether people are making the most of the ability to transfer a parking ticket to the same time zone in another area of the CBD but prior to the introduction of this system we noted that this was an option many in the community wanted to have,” Mr Cavanagh said.
“It is the ‘pay-by-plate’ system that makes this possible. Under the new parking system council also provides free parking for those with a disability permit. It is also free to apply for a disability permit and there is no charge to renew the permit.”
He said parking fines were down marginally on the long-term average which was encouraging to see.
“Our new system provided us with the ability to issue and record warnings,” he said.
“The number of sessions being booked using both the app and the meters indicate that the overwhelming majority of motorists have mastered the new system. Council would much prefer that motorists pay a modest sum for parking rather than pay a fine.”
Mr Cavanagh said there had been a few changes made after the system was implemented.
“There is always some fine tuning to be done with any new system,” he said.
“Some of the feedback we received was around motorists being uncertain about which parking zone they were in. To help address this we added stickers to the meters which let people know what zone or zones apply to the block in which the meter is situated.
“Other modifications included adjusting the screen brightness and some of the screen selections on the parking meters. Council is also increasing and improving signage where required.”