Q: What is a good solution for replacing private cars with public transportation?
A: Park & Ride is useful if it comes with the incentives on parking and use of public transport.
Fukuoka City Government is implementing the strategy to control the number of cars coming into the city center, and now teams up with the shopping malls in the suburbs, found a win-win solution for the government, public transportation operators, car users and retail developers.
Fukuoka City has grown as the administrative and commercial center of the Kyushu Region. A reason is the convenience of transportation networks within the region; road and public transportation network, as well as the connections with wide-area transportation, such as air, Shinkansen, and highway networks.
With the city's growth, the population is over 1.6 million now, increasing from 1 million in 1975. Some people opt to live in the suburbs, and the population of the surrounding areas has also reached over 1 million. As the population grew, this city also faced the problem of traffic increase. Fukuoka City Government drew up the Fukuoka City Urban Transportation Basic Plan and implemented its strategies such as the car lanes giving priority to route buses depending on time, cycle-and-ride, and park-and-ride systems.
Park-and-ride system is mainly targeted to the car users coming into the city centers. Fukuoka City Government first built the parking spaces at three railway stations in the late 1970s, and now the prefectural government and public transport operators also collaborate with private parking companies for the parking spaces along the railways. At the designated parking spaces located near the train or subway stations, the users can get a discount when paying the fee with the transportation smart cards.
One step ahead is the city government's collaboration with the shopping centers in the suburbs. The retail developers offer the parking spaces to the commuters for free on weekdays, and in return, the users need to shop a certain amount monthly in the mall. The commuters take public transportation from the mall to the city center and buy the daily necessities in the mall when they pick up their cars to go back home.
The city and prefectural government, public transportation operators, can team up with private companies such as the retail developers and parking companies and give incentives to the car users to accelerate the use of the system, in order to control the number of cars coming into the city center. It can contribute to the sustainable development goals in less fuel consumption and less gas emission.
[Case ID: Urban Transportation UT-07]