By Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

We’ve been waiting forever. The return to the office. Some already clamoring to get back to full-time life. Some deciding that stay-at-home was forever. Some that just want a little bit of both. Based on projections in early summer 2021, we were all circling Labor Day as that date that we figured out the working world and went into some hybrid pattern and we’d know how everything would shake out. Then that thing we won’t talk about reared its ugly head and sent that target further into the future.

Now, here we are moving deeper into the fall and things are starting to clear up. Large office and commercial tenants are refocusing that target and looking to get things moving in some fashion. So, what are we as parking professionals supposed to do?

Why, get out there and innovate. It’s what we do!

Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to position yourself for that return to work and how you want to begin to create a new parking world. In Sacramento, Calif., they are using pre-paid parking reservation technology and reduced daily rates to begin to provide flexible options for returning commuters. Rather than pay for an entire monthly permit, you pay for what you need. In Birmingham, Ala., they are working hand-in-hand with companies to evaluate data and craft a program that works with everyone, identifying trends and adapting space to serve ever changing needs. On numerous university campuses throughout the country, they are focusing on daily parking models to account for folks who just don’t come to campus every day.

The IPMI Research & Innovation Task Force is currently working to document how our industry is responding and innovating. If you or your program is trying new approaches, we want to hear about it. Email us  and let us know how you’re handling that return to work.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is president of Wood Solutions Group and co-chair of IPMI’s Research & Innovation Task Force.