Sydney Drivers Paying ?More For Less? With Parking: NRMA Photo:
Trevor Collett | Mar, 11 2014 | 4 Comments

Sydney motorists are paying more for a dwindling number of parking spaces than their counterparts in similar cities overseas, according to a report commissioned by the NRMA.

The report compared Sydney’s CBD parking woes to those of Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, as each city was similar in size to Sydney and offered access to accurate parking data.

Despite Sydney’s population being second only to Boston in the sample group, the 'Harbour City' contains the lowest number of available parking spaces.

Those precious few parking spaces come at a considerable expense too, as the NRMA says Sydney-siders are being ripped off when it comes to parking prices.

Sydney parking is 97 percent more expensive than Boston, which was the second most expensive in the sample group, and 179 percent more expensive than Seattle, which was the cheapest.

Whether by choice or by need, Sydney residents are far more likely to use public transport (which is also expensive by world standards) than the rest of the sample group.

Of all trips to Sydney’s CBD, 61 percent are completed using public transport compared to 37 percent of trips to Boston’s CBD, which had the second highest public transport usage.

NRMA Group CEO, Tony Stuart, said the report dispelled the myth that few Sydney-siders are using public transport, and that current CBD parking policies are ineffective.

"Sydneysiders are sick of being demonised for driving their cars; this report shows that they are in fact higher users of public transport than people in comparable cities,” Mr Stuart said.

“Adequate parking in a city like Sydney is essential, both in the CBD itself and at transport hubs like railway stations and light rail end points.”

"Despite charging some of the highest prices on earth through parking levies and fees, the city is not investing in available and affordable parking that can be considerably enhanced by smart technology.”

Mr Stuart said the lack of parking caused many motorists to waste time driving around searching for a spot, adding to CBD congestion and creating a false belief that few people were using public transport.

The future looks bleak for Sydney drivers, with the proposed expansion of the light rail network set to rob the city of more valuable parking spaces, with no plans to replace them.

The NRMA is calling for more park ’n’ ride facilities at major transport hubs, more long-term parking spaces and government interaction with the private sector to create more parking.

International Parking Comparison
City Total spaces Metro population Number of employees Spaces per 1000 employees Median daily parking rate (USD)
Sydney NSW 52,515 4,391,674 251,453 209 67
Boston MA 68,960 4,552,402 236,208 292 34
San Diego CA 62,534 3,095,308 64,718 966 26
San Francisco CA 83,457 4,335,391 257,154 325 26
Seattle WA 54,657 3,439,809 136,288 401 24
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