Big hike in parking fee hits rail commuters hard

Experts slam move; Rlys claims it wants to keep non-commuters away

Big hike in parking fee hits rail commuters hard
Day-long parking at railway stations in BBMP areas will cost a bomb now as the the Railways has increased the fee, leading to dissatisfaction among commuters.

Parking at the 11 railway stations in the city will cost much more than the fee paid at the terminals of BMTC and Namma Metro stations. The fee for car parking has gone up from Rs 30 per day to Rs 300, whereas for bikes, the increase is from Rs 20 per day to Rs 50.

The office of the Divisional Railway Manager said the parking fee was hiked on a par with the BBMP, which has proposed a similar fare structure in the upcoming smart parking management system.

"We noticed that people who do not use train services were using our parking lots even as there was no space left for our commuters. The first priority is our commuters. So, we decided to stipulate a fee of Rs 20 for every additional hour with a ceiling of Rs 300," a railway official said.

However, S Chandrashekhar, a resident of Chamarajpet, said many outsiders parked at the railway station as there was no facility elsewhere. "There is no parking facility at the Kempegowda metro station. Every day, I park my bike at Majestic railway station and commute to Baiyappanahalli on metro. I have to pay more now," he said.

Karnataka Railway Vedike member K N Krishnaprasad said Railways should keep its parking fee on a par with metro stations and BMTC terminals. "Railway officials are under pressure to increase their non-fare revenue. But they should realise that ultimately, low parking fee will encourage people to use public transport," he said.

Parking two-wheelers in bus terminals at Shantinagar, Banashankari, Yeshwantpur and Whitefield costs Rs 5 (2 hours) and Rs 20 for 8 hours. For four-wheelers, it costs Rs 12 (2 hours) and a maximum of Rs 60 (24 hours).

BBMP's on-street parking costs Rs 15 per hour for four-wheelers on premium avenues like Brigade Road. However, the fee will be doubled once the tender for smart parking is awarded, which is expected to happen in the next two months.

Urban transport expert Sanjeev Dyamannavar said higher parking fee will push people to use private vehicles. "Since street paid parking is yet to become a reality in Bengaluru, more people will park on the streets and avoid using public transport like suburban rail or BMTC. The overall experience of public transport should encourage people to use it. This includes integration, last-mile connectivity and parking fees," he said.

DH News Service

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