The West

Anger but paid train parking a success
Confusion: Commuters seek advice at Bayswater station. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The Public Transport Authority has declared the rollout of paid parking to Perth train stations a success, despite a mixed response from commuters.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said about 12,000 passengers used the new cashless SmartParker system yesterday.

But a number of problems had left passengers frustrated when The West Australian visited stations yesterday morning.

With the SmartRider website crashing on Monday night because of heavy traffic, many commuters were unable to register for SmartParker.

It made for unhappy passengers at Bayswater station, where only one ticket machine was able to take cash.

"I just want to give someone my two dollars," passenger Andrea Sassella said.

"I tried to register my SmartRider for parking but the website wouldn't recognise my information."

Disgruntled customers faced a long walk back to their car when buying a ticket and feared missing trains but were not fazed by the new charges.

"It hasn't made much of a difference, to be honest - it's only two dollars," city-bound worker Keith Harding said.

Passengers at stations further down the Midland line ducked the charge entirely, with the ticket machine at Maylands non-operational until next week, according to a notice on it.

Stirling station passengers faced queues during the busiest periods with just one working machine serving the station's two big carparks. Mr Hynes said the delays would be reduced as people got used to the system.

He said similar issues happened during the original SmartRider rollout.

"A few of the cash machines did get temperamental because they were transplanted from the existing pay and display parking areas," he said.

"A process we normally expect to take 4-5 seconds is taking around 15, and that's enough to cause a bit of a build-up and a few grumbles."

He said the PTA would not fine customers for the first few days while the issues were addressed.

The cost appeared to have deterred some passengers, with hundreds of bays left empty at Stirling, Warwick and other usually busy Joondalup line stations.

The West Australian

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