Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why Trimet refuses to charge at it's park and rides

Are park-and-pay lots in commuters' future? | Local News | The Seattle Times

(nothing must disrupt our rail service, NOTHING)

1 comment:

Erik H. said...

I brought that up and was given the usual laundry list of excuses:

1. Cost to enforce

Enforcing parking lots are easier than fare inspections, because all you have to do is hit each lot once. Don't worry about the people parking for an hour and then leaving. Fare inspectors/Transit Supervisors can easily hit the lots, do a quick drive through, and write citations. There are private companies that will do this.

2. Cost of parking lot fee collection.

Surely installing a couple TVMs to issue parking tickets is easy enough. In fact, TriMet's Type I ticket vending machines are COMMONLY used throughout Germany for parking lot fee collection. TriMet's existing TVMs could have an easy fix to allow one to purchase a parking pass, just as they can purchase a day pass or a monthly pass or whatever.

3. Discouragement of ridership

You know what? TriMet has done plenty to discourage bus ridership and there was no qualms about disinvesting in the bus fleet, or bus stop amenities (heck, now they are actively removing bus stop shelters). Those ALL have a defined negative impact to bus service. TriMet can no longer afford to give out amenities for free and it's time MAX riders and express bus riders (who make up the majority of the P&R use) chip in for the additional service they demand. Charging $5 to park at a suburban P&R is still cheaper than downtown parking, even when you include the $5.00 daily bus fare - my parking lot is $11/day, plus of course gas.

It's time TriMet looks beyond the bus riders for service cuts and fare increases, and starts looking at the capital intensive MAX riders whose costs are often considered non-operating, but still have a very real impact to TriMet's bottom line.