Mt Ruapehu’s New Carpark Booking System Fails To Impress Many
"Queuing for a carpark is set to become a thing of the past", says Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL). Now enforcing a new compulsory carpark booking system on both Whakapapa and Turoa Ski fields, that can only be booked on a Wednesday for one week ahead.
RAL also say “We’ve come up with what we believe is a good solution that will ensure fair and equitable parking for everyone.” Yet it restricts access to locals and others residing in the area a long with holiday home owners, as now they have lost the freedom to access either ski field at a moments notice, which is a common way of utilising the ski season and its weather conditions for people working in the townships, as well as others. Not to mention that it is a national park and this will only cause complications to people wanting to utilise tracks or other activities on the mountain. How is this a fair system?
It does not seem a very equal system either as it is bias towards the visitors to the area and restricts access to others. If you were lucky enough to purchase a platinum upgrade for $749 last October then you are not required to book as you have paid to park in a designated parking area on either side, everyone else sadly does not have this option and some might not be able to afford this even if it was available.
RAL still have not decided to open the Alpine Meadow beginner area on Turoa Ski field and have reduced lessons to local schools and ski clubs which is only another disappointment.
There is a petition going around asking people to help stop RAL from using a carpark booking system, please see the following link: https://www.change.org/p/ral-stop-carpark-booking-for-2020-at-mt-ruapehu?source_location=petitions_browse
If RAL want to stop congestion they should stop selling Anytime season passes immediately and if they want to make the mountain more user friendly they should only be offering the Mid-week season passes even at a lower rate then what they are at now, a long with other lower prices on mid-week day passes and multi-day passes.
This new booking system is deemed to fail as it may only force queues lower down the mountain road and fail on days where visitor numbers a low, and of course there are the well known unexpecting weather condition which cannot always be booked for.