Paid parking is a critical, but often underappreciated, element of a city, town, or municipality’s infrastructure. While free parking is often viewed by city officials and residents as a basic public good, it also encourages motorists to park beyond posted time limits, decreases turnover, and can lead to loss in revenue for businesses.
However, a well-managed Smart Parking system can help cities make better-informed policy decisions, increase transportation efficiencies, and better match rates and parking time limits with the demand of the local market. A Smart Parking program is one of many features of Smart Cities that can lead them to become an accelerator of Smart City growth.
Read on to learn the benefits of Smart Parking programs.
A city may discover that its free parking situation is out of control when cars are frequently parked beyond posted time limits and motorists are circling around, looking for a parking space. Consequently, a free parking system can leave lasting negative effects on the city, the environment, and business owners.
An effective Smart Parking system helps lower car emissions in urban centers by reducing the need for people to circle city blocks searching for parking, lowering the amount of daily vehicle emissions, and reducing the global environmental footprint. It also allows cities to carefully manage their limited parking supply and provide curbside access to local merchants.
Enhanced User Experience
Smart Parking technology makes it possible to collect and analyze large amounts of data about parking utilization. This allows cities to define clear policy goals and accurately adjust pricing to meet those goals. A Smart Parking solution also provides motorists with multiple payment options.
For example, contactless payment options let motorists pay for parking by simply waving a card, smartphone, or smartwatch near the parking meter, making the parking experience seamless and convenient. Mobile phone-enabled automated payment apps allow motorists to reserve parking in advance, or very accurately predict where they will likely find a parking spot.
Real-Time Data and Trend Insight
For City administrators, access to real-time data can help implement new pricing structures, improve parking enforcement, monitor maintenance activity and user trends, and increase overall efficiencies. A Smart Parking management system can integrate this data into one intuitive and seamless back-end system. This is helpful for overall Smart City planning and growth.
This integration can provide administrators with a comprehensive set of financial, technical, and administrative reporting features, as well as allow for remote parking meter configurations, allowing them full control of an automated parking system from anywhere, anytime.
Economic Benefits for Businesses
Businesses, particularly retailers, initially object to paid parking out of fear that it may discourage customers.
However, studies indicate that customers will pay for parking in areas with attractive businesses and pedestrian environments. (Kolozsvari and Shoup 2003). Many of the most successful commercial districts have priced parking, while many commercial centers with free parking spaces typically do not enjoy the same economic success.
Advantages of a Smart Parking solution for local economies include increased turnover, which makes finding a parking space easier (therefore reducing traffic congestion), free space for freight deliveries, and additional revenues that can finance city improvements, such as street repairs and cleaning projects.
Smart Parking Benefits In a Nutshell
Cities that implement a Smart parking management system can expect:
- More available parking spaces for motorists
- Access to real-time data to drive better policy
- Revenue that can be reinvested back in the community
- Enhanced user experience and increased customer satisfaction
- Increased turnover, decreased congestion, and reduced emissions
When selecting a Smart Parking partner, city administrators must consider reliability, purchase, installation and maintenance costs, staffing requirements, and whether the parking provider can fully-integrate with existing and future technology.
IPS Group has delivered Smart Parking technology solutions for over 20 years. The company is the only supplier to provide a best-in-class product suite, fully-integrated and powered by one back-end software solution that intelligently manages all aspects of a parking program.
Thinking about implementing a Smart Parking program for your city? Click here to schedule a demo today.