City of Newcastle says its parking revenue has taken a hit due to the "overwhelming popularity" of the city's light rail service.
The council said on Monday that the number of parking transactions had fallen 7 per cent in the last six months of 2019 compared with the corresponding period the previous year.
These transactions, down from 983,392 to 916,704, amounted to a $335,000 decline in parking revenue.
The council's governance director, David Clarke, linked the drop in parking demand with "evidence that the general public is embracing public transport in the city".
Opal data shows the tram has carried an average 104,000 passengers a month since opening in February last year, almost double the 54,750 forecast in state Cabinet documents in 2013.
"The fact that light rail has been more successful than anticipated is a good planning problem to have," Mr Clarke said.
"The parking transaction numbers for 2019 tell us that plenty of parking remains available for inner-city shoppers and visitors, which is news we want both traders and shoppers to know about, even though it amounts to a hit to our bottom line."
The "positive uptake of public transport" helped reduce greenhouse gases and traffic congestion and supported the city's "activation".
But Hunter transport analyst Ron Brown said it was "misleading" to use "selective" light rail figures to determine that more people were using public transport.
He said the council should compare the tram data with bus patronage before light rail was introduced to arrive at a meaningful assessment.
"Otherwise the observed increase in light rail patronage may simply be due to the transfer of passengers from bus to light rail," he said.
Mr Brown said the monthly tram numbers "look impressive" compared with the government's initial estimate, but the 2013 forecast could have been too low.
The government's decision to run the tram down Hunter and Scott streets and remove on-street parking has attracted widespread criticism.
Mr Brown said the "real measure" of the tram's impact was the number of people accessing the CBD.
He said pedestrian counts conducted in Hunter Street in July 2017, July 2019 and December 2019 confirmed that "actual numbers have not increased since light rail was introduced".
The council said it would end 15 per cent discounts for users of the EasyPark app from February 1 after surrendering $280,000 in revenue last year.
The app, which refunds for unused parking time, accounted for 37 per cent of parking payments in the second half of 2019, up from 8 per cent in 2018.
The council expects three quarters of parking payments will be made on the app in the next few years.
Mr Brown said the high take-up of the app was "excellent news" as the technology offered more flexibility and less stress for motorists, but he was disappointed the discounts would end.