The free ride is over…

2019 will now be known as the year our free ride finally ends. And it’s not just one thing either, our Newy free ride is coming to an end in one fell swoop. But what I want to know is… why? I thought the city council and all of our city revitalisation plans were for making our city into a more loveable, more enjoyable, happier, and more accessible place to be. Well kids soz bout it, you’re out of luck.

What am I talking about you say? Let’s start with parking shall we. Parking has always been an issue in town, and something that really gets the townsfolk talking. It was really the theme of 2018 right? With the whole Supercar shebang parking in the city was few and far between. Actually parking and trying to find a park was akin to the Hunger Games. Especially with the new city campus all of these hundreds (if not 1000s) of students trying to share and fight for one park. I thought for a red hot minute there, that maybe they would just all park on top of each other and create some sort of hippie dippy shake city. But alas we survived.

Maybe it was because that the one saving grace we had, was the 15 minutes free parking. Well sweetie not anymore. Newcastle council are now taking away the 15 minute free parking option. Parking to pick someone up? You GOTTA PAY. Just dropping someone off? SHOW ME DAH MONAY. You get me?

EDIT – From 1 January 2019 City of Newcastle offers 15-minutes free parking to customers using the EasyPark app in all 1P and 2P paid parking areas. There is no longer an option to obtain a free 15 minute ticket from the parking meters. The free 15 minutes will be automatically applied to all EasyPark parking sessions in 1P and 2P ticket parking areas. After the first 15 minutes, users will be charged at the normal EasyPark hourly rate. ed

Speaking of free things, some of us combatted the parking fiasco that was the inner city with the free bus service. What a treat to have free buses in the CBD? Being able to perhaps park at the designated parking station (far far away) but still be able to navigate our once vibrant city. But not anymore kids, not anymore! All buses (in the fare free zone or not) you will now have to pay. What a time to be alive! Our once liveable city is becoming not only unliveable but bloody expensive.

So what’s next? What’s the next thing to fall in the long (long) line of things we love about Newcastle. Or maybe the real question is, how much will we have to pay for them?

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.


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  1. Great news letter. Newcastle city council and other planners have totally left out older citizens, elderly & people with disabilities not necessarily physical in removing parking totally. Train & tram aren’t for all. Ifeel locked out of my city. A city i have schooled, worked and played in throughout my lifetime and now being a little older but still competently driving I feel I cannot enter the city and enjoy it’s facilities.

  2. Jimmy is looking to move north due to the non-pre-post-anti-climactic year 6 science experiment-fizzer that is Newcastle.

    Last month, while scouting liveability to the far north of this hellhole, upon return on the early morning train was absolutely dumbfounded to know there are now no transport options east of the joke-in-practice “interchange” before 8am compared to a few months earlier when it was a near-smooth ride on the 110 and a few years earlier it was a complete train ride to Jimmy’s doorstep. Jimmy has acclimatized to dealing with the hubbub of “progress” but when night/dawn services are deceitfully repealed in a soft transition to a much worse system with little oversight from the community, a flight-or-fight response kicks in and Jimmy has to actively stay away from the disease that is Newcastle town planning.

    Jimmy will not be riding the toy tram nor paying for a bus that should be free but won’t be because there is an oversupply of dead and vacant business frontage to make it equitable.

    Oh and what’s this? Ceasing the free bus before the “interchange” bus whatever-the-f**k-it-is “exchange” has even laid a foundation – what is the unnuanced excuse this time?

    Jimmy has no time for political shillery. Jimmy now walks from Broadmeadow/”interchange” to the CBD as the overall public transport situation in Newcastle has gone from joke to WTF (waiting over an hour for a connection from Broadmeadow three stops to Newcastle?????).

    This has been the plan of recent times in Newcastle – transition absolutely everything to a premium so that Newcastle is reaffirmed as a yuppy resort town for Sydneysiders trying to arduously escape the deathly neuroticism now gripping the city, the diligent or non-high net wealth get pushed out with the lack of fundamental infrastructure or commitment so mind-numbingly ignorant baby boomers can get sweated for every dollar they can. i.e. “apartment boom” and those that choose to stay can deal with ghost town weekdays until all sydneysiders drive up here and can’t find a park! Selfishness has definitely gripped this town in the last few years, major example: car park operator/s could work with transport operators for packages/deals for the consumer, but it’s just gouge gouge gouge.

    #double-barrel #triplebarrel #porkbarrel

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