By 3 News online staff
Auckland parking prices should rise even further once the city's public transport network has been improved, according to climate and transport lobby group Generation Zero.
The daily rate at several downtown buildings will go up from $17 to $24 next month, as Auckland Transport tries to reduce the number of people driving into the city. The hourly rate won't change.
Generation Zero spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh expects it'll be several years before car use begins to taper off.
"Unfortunately we don't have fantastic public transport alternatives yet in Auckland, and as we move to offer people better public transport choices, we need to see parking go up," he told RadioLIVE this morning.
But the right-wing Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance says there's no reason for the hike.
"High rates, the new transport levy, and now a 50 percent increase in the cost of parking – when will the Council get off Aucklanders' backs?" says spokesperson Jo Holmes.
"Worse, while they tell everyone else to take the bus, councillors feather their own nests by buying private parking spaces."
Auckland Transport removed the cheaper early bird parking option six months ago, but says that hasn't deterred commuters from driving.