Digitizing Your Parking Operations: Dispelling the Myths
DIGITIZING YOUR PARKING OPERATIONS
Dispelling the Top 5 Myths
Parking operators are upgrading their operations with
digital solutions, creating a major shift in the mobility
industry. As with any large-scale change, many aspects of
this technology shift are misunderstood and it’s increasingly
important that decision makers have the right information.
The following slides outline ﬁve of the most common
misconceptions about digitizing parking operations.
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new software is
than it’s worth
vendor is the
It would be too
need or want a
The only way to
software is more
difﬁcult and time
Manual processes – such as collection of coins, physical tire
chalking, handwriting of parking tickets, and endless waiting
and oﬃce visits to pick up permits – are quickly being replaced
with more eﬃcient software solutions that beneﬁt both the
user and the organizations that serve them. With these
solutions, many cities have reduced costly hardware, opting for
mobile-pay-only parking zones, handheld enforcement devices
with digital ticketing, license plate reading software, and more.
When it comes to transitioning to these solutions, the right
software vendor will have a proven implementation plan in
which the operator has minimal responsibilities. This should
include vendor-led training of operators and the introduction to
support resources, including a contact speciﬁcally assigned to
your project’s success.
Hands down, going mobile was worth it. It’s the way of the
world and everyone should do it.”
– Lisa Miller, Parking Services Internal Operations and
Finance, University of Wisconsin Whitewater
cheapest vendor is
the best choice
For an innovative and eﬀective software solution, cities and
operators need the right talent building it. With the right
technology partner, you will get smart product managers and
engineers so the product is never stale and evolves with your
environment. Paying the cheapest price simply cannot
guarantee this, and cities are often left with hidden fees for
maintenance and updates.
Selecting your vendor based on quality rather than price will
determine the service you receive both during setup and
throughout the entirety of contract. For example, in the City of
Spokane, Washington, which sits at a population of about
220,000, Passport experts launched a mobile application in just
over two weeks, allowing the city to see an astounding growth of
226% in revenue.
Working with the right partner means gaining the knowledge and
experience of hundreds of similar cities and having advice from
representatives that are experts in what works and what doesn't.
It would be too
New pay stations can cost up to $10,000 per unit, not including
ongoing maintenance fees, manual labor, and upgrade costs.
The implementation of a digital solution can help cities and
operators save time and resources.
We don’t have any plans to purchase anymore
pay-and-display machines if we can avoid it. It doesn’t make
sense to spend another $10,000 on initial costs alone,
especially as app utilization increases.”
– Davis Hough, Senior Specialist Assistant to the Parking
Commissioner, Buﬀalo, NY
Many cities have adopted license plate recognition technology
(LPR) which enables parking oﬃcers to make their rounds much
faster and issue citations more eﬃciently. An end-to-end
digital enforcement solution also beneﬁts the end-user,
allowing them to pay citations online, increasing compliance
and payment convenience and speed.
With software, improvements can be made remotely and
inexpensively – often at no cost at all.
Parkers don’t need
or want a new
Smartphones are becoming the one-size-ﬁts-all tool for
everything in our lives, so it's no wonder that drivers are quick to
use websites and download applications that make moving
around cities just as convenient.
Software companies provide solutions through the same devices
people are already using. This software is increasingly improved
for convenience with methods like progressive proﬁling, where
users are required to enter the bare minimum amount of
information to pay for parking, permits, or transportation. Many
apps will have historical data to allow users to repeat parking
sessions with the single click of a button.
A number of cities who oﬀer a mobile solution for parking
experience high utilization from their parkers and higher
revenue. Boston, MA saw a 10% increase in parking revenue
after launching its mobile app, ParkBoston. Today, mobile
payments account for 40% of the city’s total parking revenue.
Toronto processes $1M in parking transactions through its
mobile app on a weekly basis – contributing to half of the city’s
The only way to
through a lengthy
Procurement does not have to be a daunting process. For the
most successful procurement, operators will use a Request For
Proposal (RFP) to lay out their challenges with full
transparency and ask for creative solutions. By creating a more
open-ended RFP, vendors are able to more freely propose
solutions that the operator may not have otherwise considered.
That being said, it is important for the operator to go into the
process with certain standards and expectations as to the level
of service they wish to receive.
Under certain circumstances, it is also possible for entities to
purchase software products without going through a formal
RFP process and there are organizations dedicated to helping
cities do just this. For example, the National Cooperative
Purchasing Alliance (NCPA), COSTARS, and MAPC enable
cities to leverage their procurement resources to obtain
purchasing contracts with pre-selected vendors at assured
quality and pre-negotiated prices.
To learn more on how you can digitize your parking
operations, visit our website.