A PARK and ride service in Ballarat would need state government funding to go ahead on a trial basis, according to a report to go before tomorrow night’s Ballarat City Council meeting.
In the report, destinations and economy director Jeff Pulford said such a service would face major challenges, including potential council liability for car damage and increased security costs.
Park and ride services allow CBD workers to leave their cars at a communal meeting point in the suburbs and catch public transport into the city centre.
However, Mr Pulford said the service would be under-used unless Ballarat’s cheap parking rates rose significantly.
“The challenges associated with park and ride services become apparent when it is relied on as the only method of delivering passengers to a CBD,” Mr Pulford said.
“This is not to say that it can’t be a useful backup option when applied in a limited number of locations to supplement a good feeder bus network.
“However, it should not be viewed as the sole solution to providing more people using public transport in Ballarat or to reducing the number of vehicles in the CBD.”
Councillor John Philips requested a park and ride report be prepared last November, based on a similar Geelong service.
But Mr Pulford said Geelong had more than double Ballarat’s population.
“It may well be more cost effective to encourage and work with the Department of Transport for an increased rotation of buses into the existing regular public transport timetable to support a behavioural change and create an expectation that the buses run more regularly than they currently do.”
If a trial goes ahead, pick up sites include the City Oval, Victoria Park, North Ballarat oval, Ballarat and District Trotting Club, Prince of Wales Park, Wendouree Netball Centre and the University of Ballarat’s Mt Helen campus.