Paid Parking System on Hold in Parkhurst Johannesburg

Posted On Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:31 Published by eProp@News
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The extended rollout of the much-maligned Johannesburg paid parking system has been put on hold.

Originally launched in the popular Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst, as well as the Johannesburg CBD in 2011, the Johannesburg paid parking system was mooted as a means of alleviating parking congestion in those areas. In the case of Parkhurst, parking had become a problem especially in the evening and on weekends due to the large crowds that various bars and eateries in the area tend to attract.

By charging motorists to park in the area, City of Johannesburg management believed that bays would be used more efficiently and for shorter periods of time, and that demand for bays would be reduced. The system was punted to have the additional benefit of adding revenue to the city’s coffers.

Businesses and residents in the area are opposed to the scheme. Businesses feared that it would discourage customers from visiting the area, and residents complained that it was unfair that they would be charged to park and make use of commercial services in their own suburb. The city ignored these complaints, however, and announced plans for an extended rollout of the scheme to an additional seven suburbs across the Johannesburg metropole by June 2012.

It has been 9 months since the deadline, however, and the Johannesburg paid parking system has yet to be implemented in these areas. According to an anonymous source at the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, this is because the system has officially been regarded a failure, and it is unclear as to what the future holds for the much-discussed scheme. Critics have been vocal over a number of key issues that the system both fails to address and creates. Parking in Parkhurst has largely been a problem in off-peak periods, but the Johannesburg paid parking system is only in operation during peak periods. Thus, the issue the system was created to address has in fact not been addressed at all.

Another major criticism is that the contracted parking management company – ACE Parking – takes 75% of earnings, with the large majority of the leftover revenue going to the City of Johannesburg. Only 3% of takings is returned to the suburb of Parkhurst itself. Marshalls are up in arms as they only make 15% of what they collect on a daily basis, which averages R45. ACE reportedly earned R3.23 million in five months of operation across the three suburbs they have been contracted to manage.

It remains to be seen what steps will be taken to address the issue, which the City of Johannesburg has yet to recognise in an official capacity. In the mean time, public stakeholders are no doubt rejoicing in not yet having to pay for parking bays that they currently use for free.

Source: Galetti

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:46

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