Increase Parking Revenue with Improved Parking Optimization Value Chain Integration

August 27, 2018

By William Dupley

Increase Parking Revenue

Using smart technology,  businesses can increase their parking revenue. It all starts with evaluating the Smart Parking Value Chain.

There are four domains in the parking value chain:

  1. Parking Management. The ability to plan the use of existing and planned parking spaces. Both on-street and off-street, in a given area.
  2. Parking Revenue. For landowners, car lot operators, and municipalities can easily ticket for parking and enforcement of payment. 
  3. Parking Optimization. Using smart parking technology, users can not only see what spots are available but also the cost and length of time available. This information can be transmitted to stakeholders or even other partners (such as municipality parking and transit.).
  4. Parking Integration: Simply put, smart parking technology can integrate with multiple other devices and networks.

Value chain analysis is a useful technique in the process of identifying how you can benefit from new smart parking technology.

It enables us to compare current and future value chains.

How Can You Use Smart Technology To Increase Parking Revenue?

In this blog, we are going to continue digging into how to increase parking revenue using IoT technology.

First, we’ll review the importance of understanding your end-users so you can better optimize your parking lot.

How Can Users Use Smart Technology

The key to attracting customers to any service or product is to give them what they want.

So what are customers looking for when it comes to parking?

  1. Reduced travel time
  2. Reduced cost of travel
  3. Easily find a parking spot
  4. Convenient payment solutions (via mobile and automations)
  5. Access to electric car charging stations
  6. Ability to satisfy specific needs (e.g. easy access for disabled drivers, delivery drivers, expectant mothers)
  7. The choice of preferred parking spots or valet parking

These are the types of questions we need to consider when it comes to increasing parking revenue as well as optimizing and integrating the solution.

Consider the City of Toronto

Many drivers have a few preferred parking lots they check these first when parking in the city.

Some reasons parking lots are preferred are: 

  • Parking spots always available. 
  • Easy to find and maneuver in.
  • Well-lit lots. 

Although we’ve been focusing on the fact there is a shortage of parking spots, we must remember drivers have a choice about where to park.

Some users will pay a premium to be able to park faster or in a preferred area. Others might prefer to use a less convenient parking lot if they had a guaranteed spot.

This is all part of parking optimization.

Ensuring that all parking lots are adequately represented and that customers are presented with a choice where they can park.

Many customers would be quite happy to walk a few blocks if the parking was cheaper, easier to get into or had services that they want such as electric car parking.

Parking optimization is about ensuring that all parking lots are filled and that customers have excellent visibility of the options available to them.

More About Parking Optimizations

Parking optimization allows parking lots to generate the maximum revenue that it can support and create a pay-for-better-service concept.

That means you can charge different prices for different levels of services and convenience.

Using smart technology and apps, customers can easily see more about services and alternative choices.

To increase revenue, the smart parking system must allow the parking optimization value step with the following capabilities:

  • Ensure that data generated by smart parking services are available
  • Display occupancy of all lots on a single app or website
  • View the cost of the parking spot and how long a vehicle can stay there
  • Show the driver where the empty parking spots are
  • Sharing capabilities for enforcement teams for common questions and procedures.
  • Integration possibilities with the city systems (air quality, and traffic management)
  • Charge cars with massive emissions more than cleaner vehicles
  • Ability to automatically recommend to driver alternative parking supply in real-time if the targeted parking lot becomes full

Let’s review a case study and see how we helped integrate smart-parking technology to increase parking revenues.

Case study: Valet Park of New England (VPNE)

VPNE is New England’s premier parking operations firm, managing Boston’s most sophisticated parking garages.

On one occasion, VPNE was asked if any of the lots could give a customer up to 50 parking spots from 11 am-3:30 pm every Friday.

Using their smart parking system, they nailed down the period the customer needed in 10 minutes since they were able to view all their lots with real-time occupancy history.

Here is an example of what their parking control operators can see:

Increase Parking Revenue - Real Time Occupancy

They were also able to develop a financial model using the historical data that allowed them to properly offer rates based on the previous rate data of their parking.

Here is an example of that capability:

Price History to increase parking revenue

This type of visibility allows you to see the impact of parking rate changes. This way, you can increase your revenue without raising prices to the point you lose customers.

Cast Study: City Of Aspen

The City of Aspen is a beautiful mountain town in Colorado. They have thousands of tourists during the summer and winter months. So, they have extreme seasonal parking demand.

Using smart parking data analysis, they were able to uncover the magnitude of these changes.

City Of Aspen-Increase parking revenue

The parking analysis allowed them to develop a variable parking rate.

They increased their parking rates by 50% during the peak season. Which allows the city to fund more transportation methods.

They also kept the parking rates low on off-street parking facilities and peripheral zones.

This program turned out to be a win-win for everyone. Not only did they increase parking revenue, but they also reduced the demand for parking.

This made it easier for locals to get a parking spot for private business reasons.

Here are the overall results:

  • Peak occupancy decreased by 12.5%.
  • Parking Revenue increased by 26.1%.
  • A decrease in peak parking occupancies in the core.
  • Time spent looking for parking decreased for both visitors and residents.
  • Parking turnover increased.
  • More vehicles parked in off-street facilities and the periphery.

Parking Integrations

Integrating the parking system’s data with other systems’ data within a city environment allows services that exploit that integration to be created.

To increase parking revenue, you must enable the parking integration value step with the following:

  • Integrate parking availability directly to a car’s dashboard.
  • Link parking availability to the vehicle navigation system.
  • Reserve and pay for the parking spot in advance, cutting down congestion and pollution.
  • Present parking data to public transport organizations to determine public transport demand.
  • Understand the impact of removing parking spots for a part of the city.
  • Integrate electrical demand on city grid by electric cars.
  • Predict overnight parking demands for electric cars for charging.
  • Integrated into communication service providers in all parking lots.
  • Link congestion charging to city-wide parking availability.
  • Receive anonymized data about where people begin journeys, not just where they end, and where they go in the city to optimize city traffic management models.
  • Ensure that parking cameras, sensors, and payments are interoperable.
  • Integrate parking management systems with city demographics to determine pricing strategy.
  • Help reduce emissions: by reducing the emission of CO2 and other pollutants because people drive less looking for parking spots.

Parking integration provides one source of data that can be used by external organizations and app developers. All of which will make finding a parking space even easier and the payment transaction seamless.

Parking authorities can increase parking revenue by charging for this data.

The information could also be used to reduce the frustration of a user who is commuting into the city by integrating the parking availability information with traffic conditions and GPS.

An example of this is the CityPulse Journey Planner.

Case Study: CityPulse Journey Planner Aarhus Denmark

The CityPulse Journey Planner in Aarhus, Denmark, integrates parking lot information with traffic information into a single guided system.

The user selects their location and then looks for parking lots that are within the area. After the user selects one, the CityPulse planner maps a route and provides instructions on how to get there.

If there is a traffic interruption during the journey, the user is notified of the issue and guided to a different route.

Also, if the parking lot becomes full while en route, the user is automatically directed to another parking lot that has space.

Case Study: Santander Spain

Santander, Spain, has built a system with 12,000 sensing devices that include conventional sensors as well as smartphones from citizens.

They put sensors on fixed locations such as lampposts, buildings, façades and bus stops as well as on mobile vehicles and taxis. As a result, they now have an integrated IoT infrastructure that collects data from the city.

This IoT infrastructure enables them to do more than just parking monitoring. Some of the functions that they can do are as follows:

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Traffic conditions monitoring
  • Parks and gardens irrigation
  • Participatory sensing from citizens
  • Outdoor parking control
  • Open data portal of 70 data catalogues containing information about different domains of the city such as public transport, water quality, cultural agenda, traffic conditions, etc.

Santander has implemented outdoor parking control on about 400 parking spots in the downtown core. These parking spots are managed on a limited availability service, and a private company is in charge of its control.

This company operates the user payment management and the surveillance of the parking lot to issue tickets to those exceeding the prepaid parking time or those who park without paying. The process is tedious.

But now, the smart parking monitoring technology lets users find an empty parking spot quickly.

It also allows parking enforcement personnel to quickly identify customers who have exceeded their time limit so they can promptly tag them with tickets.

The image below shows a satellite view of the parking detection sensors deployed on some of the streets in the Santana downtown area.



The foundation to both of these revenue-generating capabilities is the data that’s collected from the smart parking system.

Smart parking systems will provide firms with the information they need to identify and create new revenue from their existing parking assets.

We started off our discussion describing the parking rate objectives. The key to any project’s success is clearly defining measurable results or goals at the beginning. Smart parking projects are no different.

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Align the project with a broader set of strategic objectives than just increasing revenue. This should include things like citizen engagement, management of the environment, sustainability, and economic growth.
  • Establish the project within a robust data management policy framework. It’s critical to ensure data integrity and to protect an individual’s privacy.
  • Understand the opportunity to affect transformational change upon the businesses that the parking system supports.
  • Analyze the financial benefits and include indirect and long-term benefits in light of the trends coming in the personal transportation industry.

[1] VPNE Parking solutions Smarking Case study

[2] VPNE Parking solutions Smarking Case study

[3] City of Aspen Smarking case study

[4] Smart City Services over a Future Internet Platform Based on Internet of Things and Cloud: The Smart Parking Case 

About the Author:

William Dupley | FoxNet Solutions

Bill is the Digital Strategist for FoxNet Solutions. Formerly the Cloud Chief Technologist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada, Bill has provided Hybrid IT and IoT Strategic Planning advisory and planning services to over fifty Private and Public sector clients to help them migrate to a Hybrid IT Cloud Operating model. These transformation plans have helped both government and industry reduce the cost of IT, re-engineer their IT governance models, and reduce the overall complexity of IT. Bill is also a member of the Open Alliance for Cloud Adoption Team and has co-authored several documents on Cloud Maturity and Hybrid IT implementation.

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