Member News: California Shopping District Helps Ease Employee and Customer Parking Shortage
The City of Paso Robles Partners with Flowbird to Implement Smart Parking System
Moorestown, New Jersey (August 6, 2019) — The City of Paso Robles, California has partnered with Flowbird Group, the world’s leader in curbside management and urban mobility solutions, to launch a comprehensive plate-based parking system in the downtown business district. The system is designed to open up on-street parking spaces for retail and restaurant customers, while encouraging local employees to park in off-street lots.
The Flowbird system, consisting of kiosks, an easy-to-use mobile parking app, along with electronic validations and permitting, comes as a solution to the city’s ongoing parking shortage issues. The main issue the city faces is business employees taking up prime parking spots meant for customers – an issue common in many local shopping districts. Powered by Flowbird’s flexible permitting solution, the city has introduced a $5 per month parking program offered exclusively for business employees. The ‘Downtown Employee Parking Permit Program’ reserves parking spaces for permit holders in 5 public parking lots downtown, encouraging employees to leave prime parking spaces available for customers, while saving on per-day parking costs.
The implementation of Flowbird’s pay-by-plate system will provide a better parking flow, encouraging those who can manage a short walk from an off-street lot to leave prime paid parking spaces open in front of businesses. Visitors who prefer to park in the main on-street business district may pay at a nearby CWT parking kiosk or through the WayToPark mobile app. While users can choose to get a printed receipt from the kiosk, Flowbird’s green solution offers a text receipt option. With the WayToPark app, users get a digital receipt and can extend their parking right from their mobile device.
Regardless of whether the patron pays at a kiosk or through the mobile app, each license plate number receives 2 hours of free parking per day. The pay-by-plate system keeps track of purchased time on each plate and flags enforcement through an LPR solution, provided by Vigilant Solutions, if a car is out of compliance. This enhanced management system also allows the city to implement a merchant validation program, enabling customers downtown to validate parking with participating businesses, while encouraging businesses to use the validation process as a way to help build customer service and loyalty.
“This new paid parking system has been customized for the City of Paso Robles and utilizes our powerful parking rights management system,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America. “Our goal was to provide the City with a flexible way to manage various parking use cases, while giving end users a positive experience.”
Prior to the launch of paid parking, which is scheduled to start on August 14, 2019, there will be a practice period where visitors can begin to use the pay stations. Parking will remain free during this time. The intention of the practice period is to allow the public to get familiar with the technology. During this time, the city will be offering training sessions and provide information about the upcoming merchant validation program, the Downtown Employee Parking Permit Program, and the new mobile application, WayToPark.
Currently, Flowbird supports over 40,000 parking pay stations for 600 customers throughout the U.S. This project allows the company to continue its rapid expansion across California, where cities such as Los Angeles, Pasadena, Sacramento, and Ventura utilize Flowbird systems.