Exploring travel and parking impacts of the Melbourne CBD parking levy

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts, policy - parking, place - cbd


Parking pricing schemes have been implemented in many cities across the world as an efficient means of managing car travel demand. In addition to providing a revenue stream to governments, parking pricing schemes can encourage economic development through increased traffic turnover, and manage travel demand by encouraging car drivers to switch to more sustainable travel modes. Previous research into parking pricing suggests an elasticity of -0.3 with respect to car travel demand, with a 75% diversion rate to public transport.

In January 2006, the Victorian Government introduced a levy on public and private car parking spaces within the Melbourne CBD and adjacent inner city areas. This paper explores the trends in travel behaviour before and after the introduction of the levy by analysing Census and travel activity survey data. Results of the analysis demonstrate that the number of trips to the levy area has remained relatively stable over the last decade, while the number of car trips has declined. However, the results also indicate that the parking levy is contributing only marginally to this reduction in car trips and the corresponding increase in public transport trips. It is hypothesised that one of the main reasons for the levy’s minor impact is that only a limited number of drivers are required to pay the levy personally.