I am unsure what the local Mitcham area is like, as I come from Eltham, but I am sure your area, much like mine, loves their cars and find it much more better than public buses which are often infrequent and unreliable.
By beginning to build underground car parks (only one level) when re-doing stations, it would easily double the amount of parking spaces and provide a whole new space for potential commuters to travel from. Most people would be much more comfortable driving one or two minutes to their local station, park and take the train in, rather than mingling with buses.
Mitcham in fact has 47% of its commuters travel to the station via car, and is ranked around 40th in Melbourne for car travel.
Stations like this where they have the area, will have the resources during the rebuild and will also have the users of it, I think it would be a great addition.
This is an extract from Daniel Bowens blog:
So why don’t they build more spaces? They do, but what people don’t realise is that car parking is incredibly expensive: it can easily cost thousands of dollars per space to seal a car park and paint lines and install lighting and build access driveways and everything else — $2 million for 120 spaces at Huntingdale station comes out at an incredible $17,000 per space. And if you think that’s high, once you get into building multi-level car parks, the cost goes through the stratosphere. At a return of one paying customer per day, in most cases it really doesn’t stack up.
For multi-level parking, it can cost 3-4 times that amount. For the recent WA election, there was a promise by the Liberals of $47 million for a new multi-storey carpark at Edgewater station, providing 560 spaces. That’s about $84,000 per space. If every space was filled 365 days a year, paying $2 per day, it would take 115 years of for them to make the money back (and that doesn’t count the interest bill for borrowing the capital cost).
So I hope you can reconsider your position that we need more car parking spaces.
For your information Mitcham I believe has the most car parking spaces of any metropolitan station at a whopping 826 parking spots You can visit the PTV website and select each station to show this.
More car parking does get added to stations, but it just then fills up in a few years or less and you then just demand more car parking.
Wouldn't you think it's better to have more bus services that are frequent, have them fill up, then have more people demand busses because they're getting very crowded?
Millions thrown into paving and paint and lighting for cars is money better spent else where on the network.
I agree people wold prefer to just drive their cars then mingle with busses, but that doesn't mean that sort of travel behaviour is desirable or even good. Public transport policy is all about changing that type of behaviour so that people ditch their cars. Your suggestion would merely promote the need to have a car/drive it to the station which would kill off patronage for bus services.