Let's Make 'Cycle Park 'n' Ride' a Real Issue in the Coming SA Elections!

For the past 4 or 5 years the State Government has been slowly rolling out secure bike parking enclosures or ‘cages’ at selected rail stations and interchanges. These enclosures are accessed via Metro card (with a $10 annual surcharge) and offer much enhanced bicycle storage and personal security for commuting cyclists. So they are a valuable complement to bike parking ‘hoops’ and the blue bike lockers we’re all familiar with The problem is that:

  • there aren’t enough of them
  • the current design only accommodates 16 bikes and…
  • they are being rolled out extremely slowly !

The cages have been slowly appearing at select stations for a number of years. Currently their 11 locations are:

  • Adelaide Airport
  • Elizabeth Station
  • Gawler Station
  • Hallett Cove Beach Station
  • Klemzig Interchange
  • Mount Barker Dumas Street Park 'n' Ride
  • Noarlunga Interchange
  • Paradise Interchange
  • Seaford Station
  • Seaford Meadows Station
  • Tea Tree Plaza Interchange.

However there are on the Adelaide metro rail network as well as 27 public transport interchanges and of course all of the tram stops! While a little progress with installation of new cages seems to be made each year, annual funding for Car Park ‘n’ Ride facilities (for those driving to rail stations) vastly outweighs that allocated to Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride with 65% of rail stations still having:

  • no bike parking hoops
  • no secure cages
  • no bike lockers!

If this inequity continues then clearly we have a long, long way to go before the roll-out of these ‘smart cages’ (or other bike parking options) can start to make a real difference in encouraging commuters to step away from the car!

Based on its 2017 report, the Adelaide Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride Survey Group offers the following comments and observations:

  • ‘There are insufficient numbers of cages and hoops being installed to run an associated culture change program. Such a program would inform people of the existence of Cycle Park n Ride infrastructure how to access it, and its benefits. Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride sometimes remains under-utilised as a result with ensuing argument that ‘there isn't much demand for Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride, so why rush to install them across the network?’.
  • ‘Accessing Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride secure cages requires an annual trip to Adelaide Station to have your Adelaide Metro card programmed at a cost of $10. The cages cost $30,000 to install with space inside for 16 cycles. So one Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride place in a cage costs $1875. On average, a DPTI car park space in a Car Park ‘n’ Ride facility costs $10,000. Those who drive and use public transport are not required to register their Metro card (or travel into the central rail station to do so) and they pay nothing for the privilege of parking anyway. Yet the government and DPTI continue to roll out very expensive Car Park ‘n’ Ride places.‘

The Survey Group go on to propose ‘we feel that if there is to be no provision for people to register for Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride on-line or in widely distributed card-programming machines, an alternative strategy is needed. To get some modal shift away from driving and towards cycling, it makes good economic and political sense to pay people who cycle and want to access cages at least $10 per annum when they visit the station to have their Adelaide Metro card programmed! You can pay to get 1000 people using Cycle ‘n’ Ride for the cost of one DPTI installed car park. Good economics, very effective promotion and excellent goodwill!’

The reality of course is that even if 10 or even 20 additional cages appeared immediately after the next election, there would still be many tram stops and train stations without any secure Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride infrastructure. It seems that our Government just does not understand that bike security is just as important for cycling commuters as secure cark parking is for Car Park ‘n’ Ride users!

Compare their relative situations - apart from Emmerson Station, you can park a car for free at all trains stations and tram stops. There is nothing like this available for bicycle users! It is imperative that DPTI install at least 5 bike parking hoops at all bus and tram stops and train stations in one ‘big hit’ with appropriate public promotion. Huge efforts have been made to promote Park ‘n’ Ride for car drivers and next to nothing for Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride – it’s time this situation changed!

Over 2017-18 another $15 million has been allocated for Car Park ‘n’ Ride, adding to the $110 million already spent over the last few years. If the Weatherill government has any serious intentions for to their Carbon Neutral Adelaide policy or the revised 30 Year Plan, how about simply reallocating $5.5 of this Co2-generating car park money to boost Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride with an appropriate media and culture change program.

In a recent letter to Minister Mullighan, the Cycle Park ‘n’ Ride Survey Group made the following recommendations:

‘There is an additional $15 million in the 2017-2018 South Australian budget now for car Park n Ride (Budget Papers Page 24). $5.5million simply needs to be moved from car Park n Ride to Cycle Park n Ride. This is a simple project and will appeal to voters in electorates which have tram stops, train stations and Obahn interchanges’.

The Survey Group stated that ‘$5.5 million - according to the business case developed - will establish at least 5 hoops at all bus stops and rail stations and would cover current proposals for new cages as well as $500,000 for media and culture change programs.’

The Survey Group strongly recommends that all Bicycle User Groups and cycle advocates write to their local MPs demanding that this re-allocation occur as a matter of urgency.

Sam Powrie,

Secretary, PortBUG.

portadbug@gmail.com

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Replies to This Discussion

Not sure if you are aware Adrian but the secure bike cages we've been discussing are only accessible via accredited Adelaide Metro swipe card. The cages have CCTV and you still get to use your own lock inside. 

Incidentally, found the attached rather telling '1000 Park 'n Ride' graphic online last night at (I think) the Minister's news feed (can't quite recall).

Sam

Attachments:

Interesting to hear this Dave. My understanding was that Minister Conlon (who first committed to the secure cage concept) was copying a design that first appeared in WA and was then taken up in Victoria. Good to hear that the universities may have pioneered the idea!

I attached the image below to my previous post, but I'll copy it here anyway to ensure it gets noticed! I think this illustrates that there really is(!) an equity issue in DPTI investment in park'nride. Yes - maybe it will get up to 1000 cars of the road in the commuting hours, but this money (or a small proportion of it anyway) could also be supporting healthier, less congesting, more environmentally friendly, less expensive ways to get to work! Doesn't our government think this might be a good idea???

Sam.

I fully support the work this group has done on cycle park and rides - well done everyone.

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