Smarter parking in the Smart Capital

15 April 2016

Wellington commuters will be able to pay and simply walk away as part of the new ‘Pay by Space’ parking system being rolled out in the city and expected to go into operation later this year.

The Council is now set to install 3500 parking sensors around the CBD after trialling the systems in Blair and Allen streets. 

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the system offers new parking opportunities. “The new system develops a Smart Capital approach to making transport choices easier and the availability of real-time information on parking is one step to understanding parking trends in the city,” she says. 

The Chair of the Transport and Urban Development Committee, Cr Andy Foster, says all existing payment methods for on-street parking will be accepted on the new machines. “The ‘Pay by Space’ system will be thoroughly tested and configured before being brought into service,” he says. This is expected to be complete toward the end of this year. 

A small electronic device, the parking sensor is installed in the ground of each parking space and detects and records the exact time a vehicle enters and leaves a parking space. “The sensors provide accurate information on parking space use, turnover and occupancy, making it a smart parking option for the city”, says Parking Services Manager for Wellington City Council, Michelle Riwai. 

“It is convenient for the customer who does not need to return to the vehicle to display their ticket. The 2 hour parking limit in the CBD and our standard enforcement loop still applies. No payment options will change with the introduction of these sensors although we hope to implement more convenient payment methods in the near future” she says.

Contractors will move around the city and install sensors and update the existing pay-and-display machines. There will be parking restrictions in some streets whilst the sensors are being installed. The Council will take special care to ensure no business will have disruption outside their premises for more than 2-3 hours. Retailers and businesses will be given at least two days’ notice before work starts in their street. 

The technology is being rolled out by leaders in parking technology, Smart Parking Limited. Various components of the technology are used in other New Zealand centres and cities in Australia and around the world.

“Wellingtonians are now set to benefit from this new system of parking,” Michelle Riwai says.