PARKING tensions across Newcastle are increasing, as many commuters and businesses struggle to adjust to life without parking. Over the last 12 months, Newcastle has lost hundreds of parking spaces, including the closure of two major car parks, as the city goes through rapid urban renewal to create a sustainable and integrated transport network.
This has led to many new developments being built with less available parking. For instance, the new Honeysuckle campus for the University of Newcastle has made an allowance onsite for a total of 12 parking spaces, yet it’s set to have more than 6500 people engage with the campus.
This is something we’re going to have to get used to, as the city brings in a new era of sustainable transport, such as active travel, public transport, ride-sharing, and park and ride.
In order to support the increasing number of people living and commuting into Newcastle, the city needs to ensure it has the right transport solutions in place that can scale with population growth. Building more parking doesn’t necessarily fit this strategy, as it’s an expensive limited solution that takes up critical urban space.
So, what can we expect as the city ushers in a new era of transport?
There are two smart mobility solutions that will change the game when it comes to transportation within the city, enabling greater scalability as well as complementing Newcastle’s current public transport system.
The first is carpooling. The University of Newcastle has adopted a carpooling solution that helps students and staff get from A to B, without increasing congestion and reducing demand for car parking spaces.
Drivers or passengers download an app, put in their destination and the carpooling platform automatically matches them with other students or staff that are along their route. The University of Newcastle encourages people to use the platform by offering fuel vouchers and a guaranteed park upon arrival.
Not only has this dramatically reduced the number of cars requiring parking, it has also helped reduce congestion and harmful carbon emissions, whilst building companionship among users.
Forward thinking businesses, universities, hospitals and construction firms are implementing this technology, helping them improve commutes whilst reducing congestion and carbon emissions.
The second solution is on-demand buses. On-demand buses provide more flexibility to commuters in the last mile of their travel. Across some areas of Sydney and the Central Coast, these new on-demand buses are already complementing the existing public transport system by connecting more people to the existing transportation hubs.
Essentially, people download an app, request an on-demand bus at a time that suits them to or from their door to a train station or major bus station. By extending the public transport network in this way, it can encourage more people onto public transport and away from using their cars – ultimately reducing the number of vehicles requiring car parking.
RELATED: One last climb up Queens Wharf Tower
Coupling these two technologies with active travel and public transport, gives travelers more options to get around Newcastle without the need of a car. It provides a scalable and sustainable model to transportation, future-proofing the city from population growth and laying the foundations for a digital, technology-driven transportation future.
It is critical that cities turn to new technologies to help them upgrade their transport solutions. Not only will it help scale their transport options to match population growth, but will also begin to lay the foundations for an autonomous vehicle future.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.