How can we raise $10 million per year for our streets?

Streets Alive Yarra is calling on the City of Yarra to allocate $10 million per year for capital expenditure on active transport and local area place making. Revenue to support this expenditure is already being collected, from parking permits, meters and fines.

Revenue from streets should be returned to streets

Yarra earns approximately $30 million each year from our streets via parking permits, parking meters and parking fines. We’re asking for this to be returned to streets, with at least $10m for walking and cycling. The concept of returning revenue as improved infrastructure for that neighbourhood was developed by Donald Shoup and called Parking Benefit Districts.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

$10 million extra revenue is also possible

If council chooses not to increase the budget for walking and cycling, because it would mean cuts to other services, then several options exist to raise $10m per year, including:

  • Offer a new class of parking permit
  • Convert free time-limited parking to metered parking
  • Recover revenue from the state government parking levy
  • Increase the charge for parking permits

Offer a new class of parking permit

The City of Moreland recently created a new class of parking permit that is not subsidised, called a ‘Moreland User Pays permit‘, costing $100 for the first month and $300 for subsequent months, or $3,400 per year. Yarra can do this too, or something similar, for example offering an unsubsidised on-street parking permit to residents who are not eligible for a subsidised permit. The unsubsidised permit would be linked to a vehicle registration number so it couldn’t be transferred. If Yarra sold 3,000 permits for $3,400 each, then Yarra would raise an extra $10 million per year. For further information refer to our Manifesto for Reform or our better for parking page.

Moreland user pays permit $3,400 per year. Image credit: City of Moreland.

Convert free time-limited parking to paid parking

Approximately 34,000 out of Yarra’s 47,000 parking bays (or 72%) are free or time limited. Yarra could raise $10 million per year by converting just 4,000 to paid (e.g. metered) bays which generated $10/day for 250 days/year.

Council assets can generate revenue. Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra.

Recover revenue from the state government parking levy

The Victorian state government imposes a parking levy in the inner city, and shares the revenue with the City of Melbourne, but not the City of Yarra. The levy applies to off-street parking bays (residential bays are exempt). The northern half of Yarra is within the blue levy area, and car park owners have to pay $1,050 per year. If the state government extended the blue car parking levy area to include the southern half of Yarra, covering a total of 20,000 off-street parking bays, and returned 50% of revenue to council, then Yarra would have $10 million per year. Streets Alive Yarra wrote to the Treasurer to propose this reform, unfortunately the Treasurer responded by saying he did not support such reforms at this time.

Parts of Yarra covered by the parking levy. Image credit: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/car-parks and Streets Alive Yarra.

Increase the charge for parking permits

Yarra sells approximately 30,000 parking permits each year, of various types. The price for a first permit is 11 cents per day ($41 per year). If the price was increased to $1 per day ($365 per year) then Yarra would raise an extra $10 million per year. This price would be comparable to the City of Vancouver, which charges $401.13 Canadian dollars per year, equivalent to $422 Australian, for residential on-street parking permits in the high demand West End area.

Price for residential on-street parking permit in the West End of Vancouver. Image credit: City of Vancouver.

Conclusion

Revenue from streets should be returned to streets. We raise $30 million each year from our streets, and we’re asking for this to be returned to streets, for both maintenance and capital works, to support walking, rolling on a wheelchairs, cycling, public transport stops, driving and parking. At least $10m should be for walking and cycling. If Council chooses not to do this, and instead wishes to raise $10 million of new revenue, the options described above can easily raise the required amount.

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