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Park n ride n ride

Canberra’s quirky park ‘n’ ride system gets a city-wide permit pass next Monday

June 26, 2012

Canberra is noted as a parking officer’s paradise, with user-pay parking throughout the city, at shopping centres, street-side at each of its nodal CBDs, and almost every other location throughout the nation’s capital – or so it seems.

The city’s chief parking warden – the ACT Government – will roll out a few changes to the parking system from next Monday, July 2, which Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says will see more Canberrans boarding buses.

“From Monday 2 July 2012, changes will be implemented to the park and ride permit system to improve accessibility to the service, which help reduce car-only trips, which in turn alleviates traffic on our roads and pressure on our town centre parking,” Gallagher says.

“Two new permit areas have been established at Mawson and Mitchell to ensure that users of the park and ride service have more opportunities to get a car park and continue their journey via bus.”

She says fifteen dedicated park and ride spaces have been allocated at the Mitchell site and 64 spaces at Mawson to assist with access.

The new improvements will also see the introduction of a single ‘city-wide’ permit that can be used across Canberra’s five permit-only park and ride facilities.

Gallagher claims the city-wide permit will provide users with greater flexibility with transport options.

But not everyone can get a permit.

Park and ride permits are available to MyWay smartcard users who have $90 – or $40 for concession holders – or more in their MyWay account at the time of application.

MyWay users who utilise the auto-load payment method also qualify for a permit.

Permits are issued after a users’ account balance and travel history is validated.

Only parkers who take the bus are eligible for a park and ride permit at the designated parking stations, and permits are issued a month at a time only.

That means if you lodge an application for a permit in June, and it checks out that you use a MyWay card, have $90 stored value and regularly take the bus, then you wait ten days, get your permit, and use it for the following calendar month – then you reapply all over again.

And the MyWay administrators reserve the right to not supply the permit to users who don’t follow the park and ride terms and conditions.

Permit-only park and rides are at Mitchell, Belconnen bus station, Woden bus station, Mawson and Tuggeranong bus station.

Canberra’s permit-free park and ride centres are at Charnwood Shopping Centre, Kippax Centre, Jamison Centre, Curtin shops, Kambah Centre, Kambah Village shops, Chisholm shops and Calwell shops.

But be wary of parking in or near Canberra’s shopping precincts, as there could still be metered parking – and heavy fines if you don’t pay up.

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