Parking permits and free Myki

If you don’t want a parking permit, you can get a free Myki Pass instead.

I’ve lived in various parts of City of Glen Eira since the mid-90s, but never in a street requiring parking permits. This council covers inner-suburban areas in Tram Land, out to the middle suburbs where infrequent buses are the only public transport.

Different councils handle parking in different ways, but I noticed a couple of things about the recent changes in Glen Eira.

Permits per household

Firstly, the council area has been split into four broad categories, based on their access to public transport.

This determines – if you’re in a street with parking restrictions of more than one hour – how many permits per household you can get.

City of Glen Eira: Parking permit policy precincts 2022

Basically, if you’re near trams and trains, you can get 2 permits per household. If the only nearby public transport is buses, you can get 3.

This of course plays into the (generally accurate) stereotype that in Melbourne, trams and trains provide a good, frequent, viable service, and that buses don’t.

The map possibly takes some liberties with its boundaries in the name of simplicity. Some areas quite a long way from trams are counted as “tram” or “tram and train” precincts. But the important one is the “bus” precinct, because this determines 2 or 3 permits, and this is pretty reasonable. In fact it’s a lot more realistic than the off-street parking rules which use the PPTN.

The first permit is free, the second is $100 per year, the third (if applicable) is $150.

There are also permits for visitors, tradies, and various exclusions for special cases such as carers. Full details here.

It all seems pretty reasonable – noting that most streets don’t need permits at all because there are no restrictions.

No doubt some people will complain about the fees for 2nd and 3rd permits, but this is parking on public land where space is scarce.

Having a framework and a policy is good, because as population grows, it’s likely that parking restrictions will spread to more streets – something residents should welcome if they are having problems parking close to home.

No parking permit? Get a free Myki Pass!

There’s an interesting bonus to all this.

If you’re in a household that is eligible for parking permits, but choose not to apply for any, you can instead get a free 28-day Myki Pass – one per year.

This is funded by the permit fees – and participants are limited by the funds collected from fees the previous year.

The scheme seems to have been devised in March 2020, just before COVID-19 really hit. Given the radical change in travel patterns since then, it’d be nice to see an option to receive Myki Money instead of a Pass. (A 28 day Pass costs $154.56. The same amount would buy 16.8 weekdays of Myki Money; more if some weekends and/or Earlybird fares were used.)

Still, to me this appears to be a pretty smart idea, not just incentivising public transport usage and fewer cars, but having motorists subsidise (and benefit from) PT users.

I’m not sure how many people make use of the scheme – and I confess I haven’t seen it promoted.

If you live in City of Glen Eira in a street affected by these parking permits and you don’t have a car, do check it out!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Parking permits and free Myki”

Very interesting Daniel. I haven’t commented on your posts in a very long time but I do enjoy reading every one you post to my email. I’ve been living in Australia for over 14 years now and I’ve been reading your posts even longer.

Wow! I did not know that residents (in Glen Eira) could get a free myki in lieu of parking permit.
I have noticed streets near the beach where I live (Bayside council) can be 2 hour limited and some cars parked on those streets have a residents permit.
We get two beachside parking permits which allows us to park in beach carparks for free. This is separate to your article. Apparently there is a trade for these on eBay.

Really interesting and encouraging to read this; even more so as a GE resident. Good find, Daniel. Are you aware of any other areas in Vic (or other jurisdictions) where councils or other agencies are encouraging modal shift from car to PT or AT?

What a really unique program! The closed-loop financing of the initiative, funded by permit fees is a particularly clever way of paying for the program by the users of permits only! It’s like a small-scale, road pricing scheme and might help to avoid the typical criticisms of a paid permit system of ‘Council revenue raising’. Daniel, are you aware of any other Council offering a similar deal?

I haven’t seen any other councils doing this type of deal – but I haven’t gone looking either.

Most councils in metropolitan Melbourne are strongly supportive of public transport, so I hope they’ll look at this type of scheme.

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