As with many of the world’s big cities, Melbourne’s CBD is experiencing a chronic shortage of parking spaces, an issue that is likely to worsen in the coming years.
According to The Age, over the past 13 years only 9551 car spaces have been added to the CBD’s supply of 38,085 commercial places while the number of on-street parks has shrunk. Conversely over eight years to 2010, the city’s working population increased by 27 per cent.
This equation had led to serious competition to buy existing commercial car parking sites, with experts saying parking assets are now firmly in the sights of investors for their attributes of strong cash flow, low maintenance, zero vacancy and strong capital growth potential.
Further upward pressure on values is likely with the state government unveiling plans to increase the size (capacity) and speed of trams heading to the CBD. The Herald Sun has reported Public Transport Victoria will introduce larger trams and create dedicated tram lines on some of Melbourne’s most popular routes, resulting in dozens of parking spaces potentially being removed.
This latest move will serve as a double blow to Melbourne drivers looking for affordable CBD parking. As reported last month on Wayfinding Forum, the Victorian Government has announced a significant increase in its car parking levy from July this year. Owners have already indicated the tax hike is likely to be directly passed on to the public.
However in releasing its plans, the government has assured businesses and residents that public consultation will be a key tenet of the plan to ensure the right balance is found between access for drivers and commuters.
Regardless of the results from the public meetings, at least some on-street parking spaces will be lost to make way for greater tram access, ensuring Melbourne’s car parking squeeze continues.