Bringing the US Parking Industry into the 21st Century

Bringing the US Parking Industry into the 21st Century

There isn’t much that is more frustrating than running behind and knowing that you still have to find a parking space as well. This is especially true if you are having to park in an area that you are not familiar with. There is then the added worry of whether or not the parking lot or garage will be full. There is also the concern that the parking area will only accept cash, or if it does have a kiosk or cashier that accepts card, how safe is it? Parking lot and garage owners are aware of these customer pain points and are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to modernize the US parking industry in order to ease the stress of parking and improve client experiences. 

Parking Frustrations and Concerns 

One of the bigger frustrations with paid parking areas is whether or not they accept other forms of payment besides cash. These days, very few people carry cash with them so when it comes to parking, unless they have planned ahead, they are left to scramble to find a place to get cash, and then hope they have exact change. 

Often times, if there is a parking area that allows consumers to pay for parking via credit card, those will be the first ones to fill up. However, some customers are wary of kiosks as well, as they have no idea how recently it’s undergone a cyber security assessment, or they may have concerns over “skimmers”. One great solution for this is the use of online applications that allow a customer to enter in their parking space area, stall number, and pay for it all right on their mobile device. Such apps may also offer the added bonus of allowing customers to add time to the virtual meter rather than rushing back to the lot before their time expires.

Another frustration drivers have to face is knowing whether or not the parking area that they are trying to park in has spaces available. Many parking lots and garages rely on a physical search or someone counting vehicles as they enter to determine whether or not a parking area is full. This can be frustrating for drivers, and time consuming for the lot attendant. Without knowing exactly how many spaces are available or knowing when spaces become vacant, parking lots and garages can lose customers to competing nearby lots. 

By implementing digital transformation solutions, owners can ensure that they have an accurate count of full and vacant spaces. One such solution could be parking space sensors that notify a central computer when spaces become available. A digital kiosk at the entrance of a garage, or a notification on an app, or a lot attendant can inform drivers how may spots are available, and their approximate (if not exact) space locations.

Managing Regular Tenants

Another concern of lot and garage owners is the management of monthly customers and reserved spot holders. What is the best way to set up payment for these customers and expedite the parking process for them? What is the best way to quickly and efficiently get them in and out of the parking line without requiring payment at each parking instance? One method utilizes a digital parking pass that customers can pay for and carry in their vehicle. This would help monitor how often they utilize their reserved spot, enabling them to pay either a monthly fee or have their account charged every time they park in their designated space. This can also help limit unauthorized use of reserved spaces. If a space is occupied, but the associated parking pass was not used, attendants can have the offending car towed.

Benefits for Customers and Parking Lot Owners

Adapting the latest technology with parking garages and lots would help modernize the US parking industry. This would allow for better utilization, more efficient payment systems, less stress and wait times for drivers, and more income for owners as they ensure that they are filling every parking spot and not missing out on funds due to empty parking spots. By bringing the US parking industry to the 21st century, owners can ensure that their lots and garages stay relevant and convenient.