Tag Archives: industry

Member News: Smarking Launches the First Parking Industry Benchmark

COVID-19 has caused massive disruption to commuter’s behaviors and parking demand, leaving transportation and mobility leaders unsure of what ‘normal’ looks like in the industry- and what to expect in the coming months.

San Francisco, CA – June 25, 2020 – Smarking launched the first ever, real-time benchmark for the parking industry. Transportation and mobility leaders have long been challenged with a lack of timely, industry-level data to manage their operations. This tool now allows leaders to gain a holistic view of parking performance across North America, understand drivers behaviors, and keep a pulse on market-level trends.

COVID-19 has caused massive disruption across many industries such as restaurants, events, hospitality, airline & travel – and parking underlies them all. Making parking data incredibly powerful for municipalities, real estate owners, parking operators, and more. With a 90%+ decrease of parking demand in March and recovery signals starting in May, business leaders are keeping a close eye on activity to inform their operational strategy.

The parking benchmark tool provides critical and timely data for transportation and mobility leaders to understand what the new normal is at a national and regional level.


While often overlooked, parking is one of the most important urban mobility infrastructures, facilitating the daily needs of 100MM+ commuters across the U.S. everyday. A market-level view of this industry is vital to truly evaluate the health and performance of businesses across the U.S. It’s indicative of business health, provides insight on consumer behaviors as businesses re-open, and uncovers regional & national trends.

Smarking’s parking industry benchmark provides instant access to key parking performance metrics, powered by 2,000+ locations across North America. For parking asset owners and operators, this data empowers users to better understand and measure the performance of their locations, and identify competitive gaps by comparing key metrics to the entire industry. With 1-click, users can see how their location stacks up against the industry, in real-time.

As a leader in parking and mobility, Smarking has proven success and expertise in turning transaction-level parking data into powerful, actionable insights. Trusted by top parking operators, commercial real estate owners, municipalities, airlines, and more- Smarking is paving the way for digital transformation in a long antiquated industry.

Smarking’s Parking Industry Benchmark is now available and is providing complimentary access to help leaders accelerate recovery. See a live demo of the benchmark tool, as well as an update on the state of the parking industry, on Tuesday, June 30th with the CEO of Smarking, Wen Sang. Joined by the CEO of Millennium Garages, Rick West. Register to join.

About Smarking

The leading Business Intelligence and Yield Management solution in North America, powering 2,000+ locations. Smarking specializes in turning your transaction-level parking data into powerful, actionable insight.

Trusted by leading commercial real estate owners and parking management firms such as J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Brookfield Properties, Hines, Tishman Speyer, ABM Parking, Premier Parking, City of Miami, City of Houston, City of Santa Monica, and many others.

Media contact

Sarah Ortega, sarah@smarking.com, Marketing Manager

IPMI News: IPMI Partners with City Tech to Launch the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab

City Tech collaborative logoIPMI Partners with City Tech to Launch the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab, a Cross-Sector Collaboration to Help Shape the Future of the Parking Industry

May 6, 2020

In partnership with the International Parking & Mobility Institute, City Tech Collaborative is launching a new Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab, a cross-sector consortium that will transform urban parking facilities – including Millennium Garages, which spans 3.8 million square feet beneath downtown Chicago – into testbeds to envision and implement new technology-enabled solutions and business models to help shape the future of the parking industry.

Founding Members of the Lab include Millennium GaragesSP+, and Arrive. As the world’s largest association of professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility, IPMI is a Strategic Partner to the effort.

The Millennium Gateway seeks to more fully integrate parking into the broader mobility landscape – including public transit, ride- and vehicle-sharing, electrification, and automation – as well as to explore innovative facility management, freight and logistics hub opportunities, and other creative space uses. City Tech will showcase the partnership at the IPMI Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo on June 1-2, 2020.

City Tech is an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone. The Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab is part of City Tech’s Advanced Mobility Initiative, which includes 25+ corporate, municipal, and civic partners working to create a more seamless, accessible, and far-reaching urban transportation systems. Learn more at CityTech.org.


About the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab:

The Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab is a groundbreaking partnership to shape the future of the parking industry and urban mobility. As a consortium of asset owners, parking and mobility operators, technology providers, policymakers, and other thought leaders, Lab participants work to integrate parking more fully into urban transportation systems, develop tech-enabled solutions for smart infrastructure management, and cultivate value-added services and space uses.

The Lab is part of the Advanced Mobility Initiative at City Tech Collaborative, an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone.  Founding members and strategic partners of the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab include Millennium Garages, SP+, Arrive, the National Parking Association, the International Parking & Mobility Institute, and the City of Chicago. Learn more at www.CityTech.org/Parking-Innovation.

COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse: Resources and Documents

Read all the COVID-19 Information Resource and Document postings here.

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Free Online Shoptalk: Municipalities, Finance, & Recovery: Current Challenges and Next Steps

Wednesday May 13, 2020- 2:00 PM EST

Free Online Shoptalk: Municipalities, Finance, & Recovery: Current Challenges and Next Steps

Pre-Registration is required to attend.

Free to all Industry Professionals

Access the Recording here


Join IPMI for our next online Shoptalk diving into cars, cash, and financial impacts to operations. Open to all, moderator Tiffany Smith will lead the group in discussions centering on three key questions. First, discuss of the impact to the short-term financial picture, including revenue, plans to streamline operations to cover losses, and anticipated changes to programs and policies for recovery. Second, address changes to consumer and patron behavior, your expectations of demand in the immediate and longer term, and potential medium-term changes in curbside (and off-street parking) management. Finally, explore adaptions to policies, programs, staffing, customers, and tech to prepare for future operations.

We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.



Tiffany Smith bio pixTiffany Smith, Director of Parking Authority of River City, Louisville Metro Government

I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1993 and obtained my MBA in 2001. I have been with Metro, Parking Authority for 23 years. I started in Accounting and moved to Administration and now I am the Director. Team building, customer service and improving our operations through technology, innovation and creative thinking are my initiatives in operating the agency. I’m still very much invigorated and excited about how we can make Louisville a better city to live, work and park. My staff is my greatest professional asset.

I am a lifelong learner and am always excited to know more. I serve on the YMCA downtown board, participate in Toastmasters weekly, serve on the International Parking Institutes membership committee and serve on the Bates Community Development Corporation board. I enjoy spending time with family, exercising and traveling. I teach Sunday school youth and serve as a mentor at Newburg middle school through Metro Mentors.

I am hopeful to return to my studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and finish my Masters in Family and Biblical counseling. This is a dream deferred. I have 3 kids that make me smile and give me purpose; they are my greatest life accomplishment.

The Parking & Mobility Industry Comes Together in a Time of Need

parking COVID-19 community collaborationBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

This blog is part of a special series on curb management and COVID-19. A joint effort of IPMI, Transportation for America, and ITE, this series strives to document the immediate curbside-related actions and responses to COVID-19, as well as create a knowledge base of strategies that communities can use to manage the curbside during future emergencies.

There is an enduring human spirit that persists in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has put that spirit to the test, forging stronger bonds within and between our communities, our industries, our nation, and our humanity. Lately, I have been struck by how closely connected we all are.

I don’t need to tell you how strange, trying, and scary these weeks have been. But what you might not know is while everyone was figuring out how to work from home, keep their business afloat, or protect their loved ones, professionals across the parking and mobility industry were hard at work trying to support those activities.

Our communities are normally test beds for ongoing transportation innovation, but this pandemic has accelerated the need for creative use of our resources and emphasizes the importance of collaboration between colleagues. Although every community has unique features, hopefully practices that work well in one community rapidly multiply across the country. The past few weeks have seen that concept accelerate to hyper speed.

As communities enacted new policies to protect citizens by minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, their parking and mobility programs adapted curb management and parking policies to address emerging priorities. Rapid installation of temporary loading zones for restaurant curbside pickup and paid parking and enforcement policy changes to help homebound residents were needed to support business and residential communities. Supportive parking policies for healthcare and other essential workers were critical to ensuring safe, efficient, and quick access to parking as hospitals expanded triage areas into their parking lots.

Behind these changes was an amazing network of professionals connecting in rapid fashion to share ideas, discuss challenges, and offer support. A few resources that truly helped to connect folks included:

  • City groups functioning through International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Transportation for America’s 2020 Smart Cities Collaborative came together in a grassroots fashion to help discuss, test, implement, monitor, and triage curbside changes. Through a variety of channels – emails, Slack, and good old phone calls – policies implemented on one side of the country quickly made to the other side.
  • The IPMI Forum, an online IPMI member resource, provided a place for professionals to ask questions, compare ideas, and discuss how to adapt policy. As bigger cities created their policies, they trickled down through this network.
  • Transportation for America’s Smart Cities Collaborative Slack channel provided a simple, effective forum for member cities to discuss and share responses and solutions to COVID-19.
    • Smart Cities Collaborative member Chris Iverson from the City of Bellevue, Wash., shared that, “Once restaurants were mandated to shift to delivery and pick-up operations only, we reached out to the Collaborative to see what curbside best practices other cities were implementing. It helped immensely that everyone in the Slack channel was already focused on curbside management practices, and the transition to crisis mode was made easier with the help of the Collaborative.”
  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) launched a Transportation Resource Center public tool for cities to share information and develop effective responses to this evolving global crisis. It provides actionable examples of how cities around the world are addressing critical tasks, such as:
    • Helping healthcare and other essential workers get safely where they’re needed while protecting transit operators and frontline staff.
    • Creating pick-up/delivery zones to ensure that residents can access food and essential goods.
    • Managing public space to encourage physical distancing.
    • Deploying effective public communications and signage.
  • The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is collecting a variety of transportation data to assist in understanding recent changes to travel of people and goods in response to COVID-19

Collectively, this network helped keep businesses running, supported stay-at-home orders, and facilitated the needs of healthcare systems. In a joint effort, IPMI, Transportation for America, ITE, and other partner organizations are documenting these actions and their impacts. They plan to provide summary blogs, articles, and peer reviewed white papers to help communities understand, plan, mitigate, and forge ahead through future emergencies.

If you have a good story, please share it with brett@woodsolutionsgroup.com.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is president of Wood Solutions Group.

Making the Switch

Earth day sustainabilityBy Conor Burke

“This is not normal.” This quote has been used in many aspects of our lives the last few years, and COVID-19 has made sure this phrase will be with us in the foreseeable future.

As an industry, parking and mobility has been trending to be more green-friendly.

There are a multitude of ways these statements—being more sustainable and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—are coming together. One manner should be fairly obvious: cleaning our facilities. The recent focus on washing our hands for 20 seconds and disinfecting high-traffic areas should have all professionals looking at their stocks of supplies and thinking about the surfaces customers touch all the time. Switching to certified green-friendly cleaning products can be easy to implement into your facilities. The green certification on these products was earned by having the product tested and quantified from toxicity limits to the energy used to produce them.

Certified cleaning products can help combat the spread of germs and help keep our employees safe in a more eco-friendly way. Parking and mobility professionals should make the conscious switch to green-friendly cleaning products and turn these higher standards into the industry norm.

Conor Burke is operations manager with VPNE Parking Solutions. This post is part of a five-day series commemorating Earth Day 2020.

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Teams and Best Practices

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Team & Best Practices

Download the recording here.

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including managing employees from home and best practices for working from home. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.

Working from home comes with its perks, but also its challenges and frustrations. Join us to collaborate about how we’re managing people, organizations, and our own work and time while working from home during COVID-19. Bring your questions and the solutions that have worked for you for a discussion about the best ways to keep our companies, staffs, and selves at our best while the office is where we live.

If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.


Vanessa Solesbee headshotVanessa Solesbee, CAPP, is Parking & Transit Manager for the Town of Estes Park, Colorado. In her role, Vanessa manages on- and off-street parking for a small mountain community that welcomes 4.5 million visitors each summer. Vanessa also manages Estes Transit, a free seasonal shuttle system with five routes serving 55 stops throughout the Estes Valley. Vanessa is currently leading one of the Town’s four COVID-19 operational response teams focused on accelerated economic and business recovery.  Vanessa is also President of The Solesbee Group, LLC (TSG), a management consultancy founded in 2013. TSG specializes in designing public involvement processes that support parking, transportation and mobility planning efforts for cities and universities. Vanessa was also part of Kimley-Horn’s parking planning practice from 2015-2017.

Free Online Shoptalk: Mobility Options and COVID-19

Tuesday April 14, 2020: 12:00 PM EST

Access the Recording here

Free Online Shoptalk: Mobility Options and COVID-19

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including fleet management, transit, and micro-mobility modes. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.



Robert Ferrin Bio ImgRobert Ferrin, Assistant Director for Parking Services, Columbus, Ohio, oversees the administration, enforcement, operations, and management of public parking for the City of Columbus.

In June 2019 he was elected to the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI) Board of Directors. Robert moved to Columbus in late 2017 from Colorado, where he spent nearly seven years working in various parking leadership roles with the City and County of Denver as their Manager of On-Street Programs and the City of Aurora as their Parking & Mobility Manager. Robert is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned a Bachelor and Master of Geography degrees.

The Promise of Digital Media

By Bill Smith, APR

I HAVE BEEN DOING PARKING PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) FOR 25 YEARS (I’m really old). In that time, I’ve seen the industry experience incredible change, particularly when it comes to the effects of technology on operations and customer service. As you might expect, technology has also had an extraordinary impact on public relations and how we publicize parking and parking organizations.

When online publications first appeared in the mid-’90s, they caused quite a bit of panic in the PR world. The conventional wisdom was that with everyone able to communicate directly, old-school media would disappear. The typical advice to publicists was, better start looking for a new career!

To say these fears were misplaced would be an un­derstatement. While it’s true that the advent of the digital age has had an enormous effect, the end result has been the introduction of thousands of new digital publications. Many are online versions of traditional publications; some are online newsletters, blogs, and magazines published by traditional media; and still others are online-only outlets that cover parking or parking-related issues. As a result, there are literally thousands more opportunities for parking organiza­tions to publicize themselves and their services.

We’ve discussed the benefits of publicity in prior columns. There’s no better way to reach large num­bers of potential customers, strategic partners, and even employees. Publicity is a powerful tool that can increase your credibility, make prospective partners aware of you and your expertise, and help disseminate important messages to key audiences.
But to benefit from this tremendous media land­scape, you need to take the initiative. Public relations should be part of every organization’s marketing strat­egy, and the PR strategy should complement the rest of your marketing strategy.

Finding Your Audience
In looking for opportunities to publicize your organiza­tion, don’t limit your efforts to local media and parking publications—although industry publications remain a strong first-line publicity tool. There are thousands of publications out there with an interest in parking. Many are daily newspapers and business publications that serve communities facing parking issues and with transportation, planning, and features editors and reporters who would love to have access to your expertise on those parking and mobility issues. If your organization is national or international in scope, such as a consultant or technology provider, these publi­cations present many opportunities to promote your brand and raise awareness of your expertise.

There are also hundreds of non-parking trade pub­lications serving many vertical markets to which you market your services. The most common verticals for parking organizations are real estate and develop­ment, building ownership and management, hospi­tality and casinos, airports, universities, hospitals, and government management. Each of these verticals has several media outlets offering publicity opportunities.

Beyond the Obvious
There are also less obvious media targets, such as technology media, engineering, and architecture pub­lications, which also provide excellent opportunities to promote your organization. When seeking out targets, don’t limit yourself to only the most obvious indus­tries and categories. Opportunity often lies in unex­pected places, and it’s important to be creative and open-minded when seeking opportunity.

And of course, print publications represent just a fraction of the publicity opportunities open to you. For every print publication there are five online versions and online-only publications. Take advantage of them along with the traditional print vehicles.
Finally, when you generate publicity, that’s not the end of the process. Articles that you author or that mention you or your organization also make great marketing pieces. Make sure to post PDFs or links on your organization’s website and social media plat­forms. Also share your coverage by sending the PDFs and links to your digital mailing list.
The proliferation of digital media provides a dra­matically increased opportunity to promote you and your organization. Take advantage of this multitude of opportunities.

Read the article here.

BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of Parking & Mobility. He can be reached at bsmith@smith-phillips.com or 603.491.4280.


The Green Standard: A Business Model for an Evolving Industry

By Trevyr Meade

OUR INDUSTRY NOW STANDS AT A MAJOR INFLECTION POINT. In just a few short years, we’ve seen the foundation for a new mobility paradigm take shape, the emergence of climate-­related risk, and people’s expectations for business’s role within society evolve. These chang­es have created a tremendous opportunity, but thriving in this more fluid and complex envi­ronment will require a new business model—one that enables organizations to be more nimble and better integrated within the ecosystems they operate. Luckily, such a model exists: corporate social responsibility.

Investopedia defines corporate social responsibility as a self-regulating business model that helps a company be so­cially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. This framework provides a pathway for businesses to connect with and better understand the needs of all stakeholders who affect their business, whether customers, business partners, employees, policy-makers, technology innovators, the public, or the environment.

“Stakeholder engagement is absolutely critical to our oper­ations,” says Scott Morrissey, senior director of sustainability at Denver International Airport in Colorado. “The airport commu­nity is so large and varied that we need to work with our airline and concessions partners and communicate with our employees and passengers to achieve our ambitious sustainability goals. Having as many conversations as we can, both with individuals and groups, ensures that we can be responsive to the needs of all community stakeholders.”

Broadening Focus
At its core, corporate social responsibility is about broaden­ing an organization’s focus from the bottom line of an income statement to a holistic accounting of all its stakeholders’ needs. Businesses that embrace this model create feedback loops that increase awareness of emerging risks and opportunities. As the pace of change within our industry hastens, business­es that identify these risks and opportunities most quickly will be positioned to adapt and thrive.

The transportation evolution is just one example of how the business of parking and mobility is changing. In 2010, catching a ride in more than 700 cities by tapping your cellphone, choosing to commute via a shared electric scooter, or experi­encing a fully autonomous vehicle was unthinkable. While these and other innovations have affected our industry, the true extent of the change these technologies will bring is yet to be realized. For example, by 2030, 125 million electric vehicles are projected to be on the road, and the shared micro-mobility market in the U.S. could grow to $300 billion.

“Installing mobility ameni­ties such as bicycle parking and ­electric-vehicle charging stations has enabled us to lower our environmental impact while enhancing the tenant experience,” explains Edmée Knight, sustainability manager at Unico Properties. “It is important for us to stay abreast of new mobility solutions as they come online so we can understand their potential to augment our sustainability work and improve access to our buildings.”

Engaging with innovators and policy-makers who are shaping the future of emerging transportation technologies has become critically important to busi­nesses operating in our industry.

The Real Risk
A broader trend that’s emerged in recent years is climate risk becoming real. In 2018, asset manager Schroders assessed 11,000 listed global companies and estimated that accounting for physical climate risk could, on average, reduce their value by 2 to 3 per­cent. Given this information, Moody’s recent purchase of a majority stake in Four Twenty Seven comes as no surprise. Four Twenty Seven evaluates physical risks associated with climate-related factors and other en­vironmental issues. To date, the relatively young com­pany has developed a data set that covers over 2,000 listed companies.

As the impacts of a changing climate become clearer, understanding your business’s relationship with the environment will become a basic requirement for success. Moving forward, those businesses that do not understand how resource constraints and severe weather events will impact their organization will har­ness substantial unknown risk.
Society is also now demanding more responsibility from corpora­tions. The public no longer believes that merely limiting environmental harm constitutes responsible busi­ness. Eighty-one percent of respon­dents to The Conference Board’s Global Consumer Confidence Survey feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. When seeking work, a similar trend is clear: 75 percent of millennials (30 percent of today’s workforce) are willing to take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. Meeting legal envi­ronmental standards is no longer sufficient. High-per­forming businesses today must understand how they affect society and the environment and demonstrate to their communities and employees that they are striving to improve that impact.

The transformation our industry is undergoing will create immense opportunity but will also bring about new risks. Engaging with all the stakeholders who impact your organization provides a clear path for managing what will be a dynamic future. Corpo­rate social responsibility is a framework for managing stakeholder engagement that enables you to adapt to new opportunities and mitigate risks before others are aware they exist. Embracing this framework will enable your organization to thrive in what is quickly becoming a much more complex and fluid parking and mobility industry.

Read the article here.

TREVYR MEADE is certification program lead with Green Business Certification, Inc. and a member of IPMI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at tmeade@gbci.org.