Car-sharing companies could provide relief for local motorists struggling to find a space in crammed commuter car parks, according to Parking Australia.
Chief Executive Lorraine Duffy told the Star an “integrated approach” was needed to rectify the problem, but floated the idea of car-sharing as part of a long-term solution.
“When you have these problems, first you have to ask if the public transport links are adequate,” she said. “But car-sharing is definitely an option worth exploring.”
Popular in the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs, car-sharing involves booking a vehicle to use for a certain time before it is taken over by another motorist.
“It’s an innovative solution, rather than just, ‘Let’s build more car parks’,” Ms Duffy said.
Transport for NSW confirmed it has no immediate plans to upgrade bulging commuter car parks in St Marys and Mount Druitt.
In St Marys, the 500-car multi-storey facility is full by 7.30am, forcing motorists to park in areas reserved for shoppers along Queen Street.
Penrith councillor Todd Carney raised the issue at an ordinary meeting last month and said he was awaiting a council report on the issue in St Marys.
“The feedback I’m getting from residents is that some are having to get into work an hour early just to be able to get a park here,” he said.
“I’ve lobbied for urgent intervention and to have a proper plan put in place long-term.”
Cr Carney said private enterprise could have some part to play in solving the problem, but hoped the council would explore options to offer immediate relief.
Mount Druitt MP Edmond Atalla said the situation at St Marys was forcing congestion to Mount Druitt.
He said many of the carks parked at the 220-space car park on North Parade came from St Marys.
“There are a lot of concerns about people parking in the streets around Old Mount Druitt,” he said. “I’ve been talking to Blacktown Council about finding vacant land to build temporary parking.”
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said all stations were “continuously monitored” to decide where upgrades are most needed.
“We know that there is plenty of work left to do, but we are getting on with delivering station upgrades... all over NSW.”