Gold Coast demand-based parking pricing
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Brief summary of this reform
Metered parking fees for city-owned parking are demand-based in two centres of activity in the City of Gold Coast under the city’s ParkInCentre Scheme (PICS). The areas are Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads.
Four times a year, the city reviews the price of metered parking in small zones across these areas, and adjusts the price up or down (in increments of 20 cents) to better manage demand. This is based on occupancy data, primarily from in-ground sensors. There are also three time-of-day pricing periods.
There are other areas with priced on-street parking in Gold Coast but so far Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads are the only centres with demand-based price setting.
Why should you care?
This is Australia’s first example of demand-based parking price setting. The ParkInCentre Scheme also involves a relatively evidence-based approach to parking management. This reform has received little publicity. It deserves to be more widely known and to have its effects studied in more detail. It remains to be seen if the City of Gold Coast will extend this approach beyond its currently very limited geographical extent.
Key actor type
City of Gold Coast
orderly parking (usually for wider benefits too)
City of Gold Coast Parking
Is it a model or a warning?
Main parking category
Main parking paradigm shift
City-owned (both on-street and off-street)
Towards park-once-and-walk AND more responsiveness to context/market
Adaptive Parking thrust
P: Price parking in the right ways and with the right rates for each place and time
Goals of the reform
“This Plan aims to achieve efficient and equitable parking outcomes through ‘ParkInCentre Schemes’ (PICS), local parking plans that are based on three principles:
• Parking, timed and/or paid regulation, is managed according to local demand data.
• New parking revenue is invested in local streetscape and local public transport improvements.
• Actions and outcomes reflect local conditions and evolve over time.”
(City of Gold Coast, City Parking Plan 2015, Feb. 2015)
Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)
It is not clear what the impetus for the 2015 trial was. The strategy document refers to SFPark in San Francisco, which seems to have been an inspiration.
Detailed description of the reform
In two areas of the City of Gold Coast (Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads), city-owned metered parking fees are demand-based. These areas fall under the most intensively-managed category of area under the city’s ParkInCentre Scheme (PICS).
The demand-based price setting applies to both on-street parking and city-owned off-street metered parking.
Four times a year, the city reviews the price of metered parking in small zones across these areas, and adjusts the price up or down (in increments of 20 cents) to better manage demand.
Both Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads have three time-of-day pricing periods. In Broadbeach these are 9am-11am, 11am-2pm and 2pm-7pm. In Burleigh Heads the pricing periods are 9am-10am, 10am-2pm and 2pm-5pm).
The prices for city-owned car parking under this scheme range from AUD1.50 per hour to AUD3.60 per hour as of May 2021.
There are other areas with priced on-street parking in Gold Coast but so far Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads are the only centres with demand-based price setting. Each of the other areas has a different hourly price for parking but each has the same price across the whole area and across the whole pricing period (AUD2.80 per hour in Southport, AUD4.10 per hour in Surfer’s Paradise and AUD2.10 per hour in Bundall).
As centres of activity change, the Gold Coast parking strategy suggests a progression of parking management effort under the ParkInCentre Scheme (PICS). This starts with a PICS Review to look into new or changed regulated parking, then a PICS Study to also look into adding paid parking areas, and then potentially establishing a PICS Benefitted Area Zone to introduce “demand responsive parking prices with an investment policy for local accessibility and streetscaping improvements”. (City of Gold Coast, City Parking Plan 2015, Feb. 2015)
Paid on-street parking will be introduced into a centre when 80 per cent occupancy is consistently reached in peak periods, based on data and evidence.
Occupancy data is primarily from in-ground sensors.
In the City of Gold Coast 50% of parking revenue is devoted to local improvement projects, including streetscaping, landscaping and improved public transport.
Results or impacts
“The two-year ‘ParkInCentre Scheme’ (PICS) pilot for Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads started in October 2015 introducing location based demand-responsive pricing. During the first 12 months of the PICS pilot:
vehicle overstays decreased by 2-4 per cent
vehicle occupancy in low demand areas increased by 5-10 per cent
reductions in peak parking demand resulted in greater parking accessibility.”
Sources and acknowledgements
City of Gold Coast, City Parking Plan 2015, Feb. 2015
City of Gold Coast: Parking
Frequently Asked Questions - ParkInCentres Schemes (PICS)
18 May 2021