Friday, 7 June 2013

Ringing & Riding at the Airport

I've been aware of the "Ring & Ride" facility at the Melbourne Airport, but I hadn't used it (as a driver) until this week.     The idea is that you get 20 minutes free parking to wait for an arriving passenger, who then goes to the relatively new passenger pick-up zone and gives the driver a ring.  The driver then leaves the holding facility and collects the passenger in the pick-up zone.

It all works quite well, although on the day I was there, there was only one other car in the holding area - but numerous cars in the actual pick up zone.    I wonder if a lot of people just go to the pick-up zone and wait (running the risk of exceeding the time limit)?

An aspect that slightly confused me is that the holding area is within the long-term car park, and you have to take a ticket to gain entry.   The machine only spits out one sort of ticket, and I was a little apprehensive that I'd missed getting a "Ring & Ride" ticket.    However, there were no problems, as a special ticket is not required.

If you exceed the 20 minute free quota, but you're out within an 40 minutes, the charge is $2 (or $4 for an hour).  After that, you have to pay normal long-term rates if you're still waiting without having made the effort to go around the block (although you would probably have died of boredom in the holding area if you were there for that long!)

Another, perhaps minor, issue is that the location of the pick-up zone isn't intuitive for arriving passengers.  They need to know that they need to follow the signs and cross both the taxi and bus lanes to get to it.

Bleak ...and deserted

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