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Free parking for pick-ups

The airport has set aside 64 bays in the long-term car park, near the exit booth, to allow drivers to wait up to 20 minutes, free of charge,under a scheme it is calling ''Ring and Ride''.
The idea is to enable people to park in a safe spot and await the pick-up call from the arriving passenger, then drive by the arrivals forecourt. The first 20 minutes are free, and if a passenger is delayed, the next 20 minutes cost $2, or $4 for up to an hour. Thereafter, normal long-term parking rates apply.

''Now drivers can use the waiting zone until their passenger calls to say they are ready to be picked up from the front of the building,'' said the airport's chief executive, Chris Woodruff. The move has been introduced in response to customer feedback, and concerns about people parking by the side of the Tullamarine Freeway and other roads, he said.

It was being introduced now that the busy Christmas travel season has arrived.

It should help ease congestion on the terminal forecourt, Mr Woodruff said, as would an extra 10 public pick-up bays that will be finished this week.

''This also led to congestion in our terminal forecourt as drivers did repeated laps while they waited to pick up their passengers,'' he said.

Motorists can find the special bays marked with hot pink signs, and entry to the long-term car park is via two points, off Terminal Drive and Centre Road. Exit is via Melrose Drive to the terminal forecourt.

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