As ride-share becomes more popular, councils should replace on-street parking charges with a “transaction fee” for stopping at the kerbside, believes Alastair Evanson, solution director at traffic and transportation software specialists PTV Group.
Local authorities should consider the impact on revenues as kerb use shifts from parking to passenger pick-up and drop-off, Evanson told delegates at Future Streets, hosted by Arup Group and organised by Landor LINKS. “Pricing kerb use can help cities to retain the ability to manage traffic and transport demand by replacing parking pricing mechanisms.”
A “flexible kerb” system would enable ride-share services to pull into parking bays rather than stopping in a traffic lane, making traffic delays worse, said Evanson.
Ride-share services have grown rapidly since their appearance in 2009, said Evanson, adding that Uber announced five billion trips completed in 2017 while Lyft reported one million trips a day.
PTV carried out a mobility as a service (MAAS) research project of kerb operation and management in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. This looked at what would happen if kerb space was reallocated from parking and deliveries to ride-share. The study used its PTV MaaS Modeller simulation software to assess what would happen in Lisbon’s central business district at different ride-share adoption rates.
Higher adoption rates could have an adverse impact on the city’s parking revenue, the study suggests. “In the CBD, Lisbon earns about 5,000 euros [£4,345] every day from on-street parking. Clearly, the idea of a city getting rid of all that on-street parking and allowing ride-share providers to use the streets for free has a financial impact on the city,” said Evanson.
A “kiss kerb” fee would serve as a “financial way of reallocating kerbside parking from longer term kerbside parking to more flexible uses for pick-up and drop-off areas”.
Evanson believes the use of flexible kerbs is important in cities that have historic areas and “different hierarchies” which integrate all the different demands including public transport and freight. Dynamic charging would see fees vary depending on where the customer was dropped off and at what time.
“The move from a ‘parking city’ to a ‘pick-up and drop-off’ city is only one part of a broader shift to re-think and manage streets and kerbs as flexible-use and self-adjusting spaces. This will require changes in how these spaces are designed, monitored and priced.”
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