Wednesday, February 3

Free parking available! Really?

The Pune traffic police have for once come up with a sensible solution to ease the parking problems in the city. They propose that malls and multiplexes should either stop charging for parking, or refund the parking fees when the person shows receipt of purchase. They also propose that parking on city roads should be made expensive to ease the congestion.

It could be argued that the malls and multiplexes have a business to run and cannot be expected to give up a big source of their income. And I am sure their will be a strong opposition and lobbying by these businesses against this proposal. But I think that as a customer I would prefer this proposal as it gives me a good safe space to park, and therefore makes the mall/multiplex more attractive. I think the businesses would definitely attract more customers if parking on premises is cheap or free. And with economies of scale at play they should be able to recover operating costs and potentially make money too. (Anyways I believe that the malls/multiplexes have already recovered and made profit on their investment in parking spaces by charging exorbitant prices until now.)

Traffic reform in Pune has never been easy and this proposal might not see the light of day. But the proposal is sensible, customer/voter friendly and would definitely come handy during election time.