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 $10 million of this revenue to be returned to streets; for walking, cycling, trees and place making via the Local Area Place Making (LAPM) process.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Parking benefit districts

Revenue from parking permits, meters and fines in each neighbourhood (or LAPM area) should be returned as improved infrastructure for that neighbourhood. This concept was developed by Donald Shoup and called Parking Benefit Districts.

Image credit: Access Magazine

$10 million extra revenue is also possible

If Council chooses not to return $10 million of parking revenue to our streets, for example because it would mean cuts to other services, then several options exist to raise the amount, including:

  • Offer a new class of parking permit
  • Convert free time-limited parking to metered parking
  • Apply 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.

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

Convert free time-limited parking to metered 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 2,000 to metered bays which generated $20/day for 250 days/year, or
  • converting 4,000 to metered bays which generated $10/day for 250 days/year.
Council assets can generate revenue. Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra.

Apply 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, with 50% of revenue shared with Council, then Yarra would raise $10 million per year.

Image credit: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/car-parks, Yarra boundary overlay from Streets Alive Yarra

An extension of the state government parking levy was proposed by Infrastructure Victoria in their 2018 report “Five-year focus, immediate actions to tackle congestion“, and again in their 2020 report “Draft 30 year Infrastructure Strategy”:

The City of Melbourne Transport Strategy 2030 supports the extension of the congestion levy area, and the revenue to be allocated to local government councils, to deliver improved infrastructure for walking, cycling and public transport:

Image credit: City of Melbourne Transport Strategy 2030

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.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Conclusion

Revenue from streets should be returned to streets. We raise $30 million each year from our streets, and we’re asking for $10 million to be returned to streets, via capital works within the LAPM process. 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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