A NSW government department will open some 400 parking spaces to the public in Sydney’s CBD, Parramatta and Gosford under a new scheme championed by NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet.
Mr Perrottet – a well-known enthusiast of the sharing economy – will run a trial to rent out some of of the parking spots at the properties leased by his department so there are used round the clock, while turning a profit for the state’s taxpayers.
“The proposed sharing of under-utilised car spaces is all about government making the most of what we have,” said Mr Perrottet.
“These car spaces don’t belong to us – they are the property of NSW taxpayers and it’s our responsibility to maximise their use before, during and after business hours.
“We want to tap into the collaboration economy to make life easier for our citizens and deliver benefits for taxpayers.”
A departmental spokesman said the trial was likely to begin in the final quarter of 2015 or the first quarter of next year.
As part of the process, the government is asking for expressions of interest (EOI) from companies that can provide the technology platform to make it all possible with selection criteria including demonstrating how spaces will be booked and monitored and applicants security screened.
“There are complex security and operational issues that need to be considered at government-tenanted building, but that shouldn’t preclude us exploring options to more efficiently use government car spaces,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We are tapping into new technology and innovative startups to advise us on the feasibility of this approach.”
It’s an idea likely to prove quite profitable for the government. A quick search on car park sharing website Parkhound shows spaces in the CBD going for $70 per week in Sussex St up to secure, reserved parking at the Sheraton on the Park in Castlereagh Street for $277, with the average around $100 per week. Parramatta will obviously prove less of a money spinner, with car parks going from around $50 a week in the centre.
The idea, unsurprisingly, has already been embraced by companies specialising in getting the most out of parking spots for ordinary commuters by renting out parking spots in high demand areas.
Nick Austin, CEO of Divvy Parking called the idea a “forward thinking policy announcement”.
“This announcement sends a clear message that NSW Government is keen to embrace innovative technology,” Mr Austin said.
Co-founder of ParkMonkey Ross Cameron said his company would be putting in an EOI.
“It’s great to see the NSW Government leading by example in car park sharing,” Mr Cameron said.
“These 400 car spaces belong not just to the NSW Government but also to the citizens whose taxes created them. ParkMonkey is pleased to join the tender and to congratulate the Minister on a common sense approach to reducing waste, ensuring assets deliver community benefits and giving commuters a break.”
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