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Getting rail passengers Ubers more effective than commuter car parks: expert

But many were pledged to inner urban areas with little available land and around already congested areas, such as four stations in the inner Melbourne electorate of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Dr Taylor said it would be better to make stations within easy walking or riding distance, or offer frequent or on-demand bus services.

“Even ride share like Uber would have to be more effective than car parks,” she said.

But she understood the political popularity of promising car parks.

“There’s nothing fun about opening a bus. I think they like to turn up and open a car park, even if it doesn’t work,” she said.

“If you’re at the point where you need to effectively put a Park and Ride facility in the middle of the city – and these should really be kept for stations at the ends of the line – you probably need another train station.”

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A Senate parliamentary hearing earlier this month heard how the decisions behind which car parks were built were driven by the creation of a spreadsheet labelled “top 20 marginals” in the office of then-urban infrastructure minister Alan Tudge.

In answer to questions from Labor senators, released on Friday, the Infrastructure Department revealed it had created its own internal committee to oversee investment spending including car parks.

The department said it was aimed at achieving “greater consistency” in the way it approached projects while also delivering “improved transparency” on policy.

The department also confirmed that two car park upgrades, promised to marginal seat of Dunkley in south-eastern Melbourne that had been held by the Liberal Party ahead of the 2019 election, had been “descoped”.

Instead of $14 million in funding flowing to the Seaford and Kananook stations, about $19 million will go into an increase in car parking around the Frankston station.

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