Everyone who lives in Melbourne brags about how great the city is, but it’s entirely likely that that’s due to it being an absolute freaking effort getting to anywhere else.
The city’s airport has long been the source of great scrutiny over its complete and utter lack of a rail link, leaving the only transportation between Tullamarine and the city solely on the shoulders of the maxed-out Tullamarine Freeway.
Whilst its been long suspected that the airport’s massively lucrative multi-story car parks might have had something to do with the continued absence of a direct airport rail link, new figures released today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission confirm precisely how big of a rip-off operation Melbourne Airport is running.
The facility’s many multi-story car parks lashed all major airports for continually gouging travellers on airport parking prices, with Melbourne the worst offender by a solid margin.
In fact, for every dollar poured into the car parks, Melbourne Airport makes a staggering 73.2 cents profit. That is, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly ridiculous.
And thanks to the lack of public mass-transit options to the airport, the carparks are practically a license to print money. In the 2014-15 financial year, they raked in $147million in revenue – the highest ever recorded by an Australian airport, and a figure up 14.8% on the previous year.
In other words, Melbourne Airport takes in $400,000-odd PER DAY through their parking facilities.
And it gets worse.
The city’s only major public transport option to the airport, the privately owned SkyBus, just hiked its prices upwards to a level that now makes Melbourne the most expensive city in the country to travel to and from its airport.
The SkyBus service has raised its prices to $19 one way, $38 return for an adult. This puts it well above Sydney, where a one-way ride on the city-airport rail link will set you back a maximum of $16.78, and Brisbane, where a one-way ticket on the AirTrain costs $17.50.
To make matters worse, the SkyBus uses the same freeway roads as the general public, meaning it is completely and utterly at the mercy of traffic conditions. In peak times, a trip from Southern Cross Station to the airport can take as much as 50 minutes. And with the Tullamarine Freeway Widening project set to disrupt traffic and cause delays until 2018, things are only going to get worse before they ever get any better.
‘Course this could all be a malicious, Truman Show-like plot to stop anyone from ever leaving. If we ever manage to make it to the airport without going broke, we’ll let you know.
Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty.