The Herald reports:
Auckland Council is looking to sell or lease its four carpark buildings to help pay its share of the $1 billion blowout in the cost of the city rail loop.
But the Automobile Association is warning of potential price hikes for commuter parking if the parking buildings fall into private hands.
It’s not the job of Council to compete with the private sector or keep prices down artificially. They should sell the carpark buildings.
Auckland Transport, the council-controlled entity that operates the carparks, raised its daily charges at the Downtown carpark by 67 per cent in January on the basis that the carpark was “frequently full”.
That seems fair. If demand exceeds supply, then the price should go up.
“Aucklanders will be pretty happy to see the council making better use of its assets, but we wouldn’t want a situation where we have private parking companies having total control of off-street parking in the central business district, particularly if it’s a case of just one private operator – a monopoly,” he said.
It is the Commerce Commission’s job to make sure an industry is not a monopoly. Having said that it would be better for the Council to sell the four carpark buildings individually, rather than in one block. That is likely to lead to better competition.