Tag Archives: partnerships

Glam Grandmother and Rapper: The Power of Radical Collaboration

Photo: VH1press.com

By Casey Jones, CAPP

I met news that Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg were getting together to do a cooking show with a raised eyebrow. I’ll bet some tuned in with car-crash curiosity to witness the interaction between a retail businesswoman, writer, television personality, and former model, and a Long Beach-bred rapper and media personality. Launched in 2016 and lasting three seasons, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party blew away expectations and proved to be highly entertaining and extremely popular. Those drawn to the show expecting it to fall flat quickly realized that the two superstars, though seemingly unlike in every perceivable way, actually have great chemistry and get along fabulously (and successfully). Martha and Snoop understood all along the power of “radical collaboration.”

We see similar marriages in our industry. Take Jeff Petry with the City of Eugene, Ore., and Glimmer Technology for example. Jeff wanted to bring art to his garages and joined forces with augmented reality tech start-up Glimmer to create something unlike any we’ve seen in parking before. What might have been viewed favorably as a “static” display of art turned into a dynamic experience through the use and integration of augmented reality. Read more about this cool collaboration here.

REEF’s Neighborhood Kitchen concept is another example of radical collaboration in our industry. REEF aims to partner with local and national restaurateurs to provide a “turnkey delivery solution for the preparation, distribution of food concepts” by making available parking facilities in a novel and impactful way. REEF’s genius goes beyond just offering up the physical space but collaborating on a whole new level, even to the degree of hiring culinary experts to lead the effort from within their company to make the project successful. Click here for more information about this collaboration.

It’s been said that uncommon partnerships allow us to see something new in ourselves, opening up pathways that couldn’t have been imagined before. Perhaps now more than ever we need to leverage radical collaborations to meet today’s challenges and those coming in the years ahead.

Casey Jones, CAPP, is senior parking & mobility planner with DESMAN. He’ll moderate IPMI’s last free, online Shoptalk of the year on December 16; click here for details and to register.

Member News: Propark Mobility Begins Hospitality Operations at Three San Diego Hotel Properties

propark logoJuly 1, 2020

San Diego, California – Propark Mobility announced today that the company has started operations at three hotels in San Diego, representing the company’s flagship operations in this new market. Propark will bring a fresh style of service delivery, innovative approaches to revenue generation and an old school attention to partnerships and commitments.

“We are honored to welcome these three new hospitality properties, and the City of San Diego,  to the Propark Mobility family,” explained John Schmid, Chief Executive Officer of Propark  Mobility. “This is an exciting entry into a new market, one that we’ve long wanted to be a part  of, and we’re looking forward to growing our presence in San Diego by providing these wonderful hospitality properties with our signature service delivery.”

Beginning today, Propark Mobility will be providing a suite of guest services at renowned hotel properties throughout San Diego. Guests of Hotel Solamar, Embassy Suites San Diego Bay Downtown, and Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter will enjoy exceptional service from
Propark’s courteous professionals, helping to create a uniquely seamless hospitality experience at each property.

“I look forward to showcasing these special hospitality properties by delivering memorable
service that our clients will be proud of,” said Joe Caputo, Propark’s Vice President of
Operations for the Southwest Region. “Our team is poised to surprise and delight guests through  thoughtful interactions, by creatively anticipating their needs at arrival and departure.”

About Propark Mobility
Propark Mobility is one of the country’s largest privately-owned parking companies, providing full-service parking and mobility services for over 500 hospitality, healthcare, commercial and off-airport locations, in over 75 cities across the United States. For more information, please visit www.propark.com.

Media Contact:
Dennis Safford
(860) 856-4104

City Partners with Businesses to Offer Garage Parkers Gifts

In an effort to spread awareness about parking options, the City of Royal, Oak, Mich., has partnered with local businesses to offer drivers gifts if they park in garages.

The city owns three garages–with a fourth opening this summer–totaling 3,000 spaces, but closed a surface lot earlier this year. To encourage drivers to park in the garages instead of struggling to find parking elsewhere, it’s partnered with four local businesses to offer a different incentive for drivers who show garage parking receipts during each of four weeks:

  • 15 percent off an order in a local coffee shop.
  • Free fries with any burger or sandwich in a restaurant.
  • 10 percent off purchases in a toy store.
  • Free snack bites in a healthy fast-casual restaurant.

Read the whole story here. Good idea or not so much? Has your municipality tried something similar? Post to Forum about it–we’d love to know.



THE BUSINESS OF PARKING | Partners in Marketing

By Bill Smith

SOMETIMES THE MOST VALUABLE MARKETING happens through partnerships. Companies that provide products and services to parking owners and operators are often in a unique position to promote their own brands while providing valuable added benefits to their customers.

Savvy parking consultants have been doing this for years. They publicize the results of the parking plans they develop for cities, explaining their recom­mendations and how they will benefit the communi­ty. This obviously promotes their own brands, but it also provides an invaluable service to their custom­ers by helping build support for the parking plan.
This can be a particularly good strategy for tech­nology providers. Most parking technologies are designed to improve the parker experience, but they can’t succeed if parkers don’t know about the tech­nology or aren’t aware that it’s available to use.

Launching a Program

Virtually any parking technology company can ben­efit from this approach. For example, by publicizing a new installation, parking guidance providers can attract new parkers who want more convenient park­ing to that garage. By doing so, they raise awareness of their products, while helping solidify their rela­tionship with the customer by helping the customer generate more revenue.

Similarly, a pre-booking company can promote going live at a particular garage, airport, or campus parking system. By generating publicity to inform lo­cal parkers that they can reserve parking in advance, a company can create more business for itself and for the parking owner it is serving.

Case Study

Recognizing that mobile payment only benefits driv­ers and cities if people are using it, PayByPhone has created what it calls the Adoption Success Model, a customizable program through which local market­ing and adoption programs are developed to meet a community’s unique needs and requirements. The marketing programs may include any of a number of approaches, including publicity (press releases and feature stories); social media marketing and advertising; and event partnerships with local radio, television, or print media companies.
PayByPhone’s program for the City of Seattle stands out. In summer 2017, they initiated the Soak In Seattle campaign. The summer-long campaign was designed to attract 6,000 new mobile payment customers and generate 840,000 new transactions. Those goals were exceeded through a combination of marketing tactics that included free parking of­fers, street team ambassadors, paid print and digital advertising and public relations, paid ads on social media sites, and a custom landing page.

One of the more creative—and fun—elements of the program was the “parking sticker” campaign. 

Through this campaign a car was covered bumper to bumper with stickers, and anyone who downloaded the PayByPhone app was given a chance to select a parking sticker off the car to win a prize. The marketing program was featured in numerous stories in local newspapers and on local television and radio, enhancing its effectiveness. PayByPhone has run similar programs in Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada and in San Francisco, Calif., as well as for private owners, universi­ties, and hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.

Through these programs, PayByPhone is generating revenue for itself, but it’s also promoting the interests of its customers and strengthening its relationship with the customer. This type of marketing presents a true win-win scenario for both entities.
This approach can be put to good use by nearly any busi­ness serving parking owners or operators. Whether your company is a technology provider, consultant, design firm, human resources business—really any type of supplier—it makes sense to consider marketing in partnership with your customers.

Read the article here.

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


Connecting The Commuting Dots: Offering intermobility services to maximize campus access.

By Casey Jones, CAPP

18-09 Connecting the commuter dotsA FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IN THE PARKING INDUSTRY has occurred during the past decade or so in which parking professionals see their role as service providers rather than simply ensuring cars are parked between yellow or white lines. This shift has resulted in a sea change in the relationship between the provider of parking and the parker and has given rise to the development of new technologies, services, and products aimed at im­proving the parker experience.

Another shift is currently underway that is perhaps even more tectonic in nature and further defines not just the rela­tionship between the deliverer of the service and the receiver, but what services our industry is tasked to provide.

The parking industry is beginning to embrace the idea that our product is more than just a space to park cars and that instead we provide access and mobility. Access allows people to reach the destinations of their choice, whereas mobility is the ease at which we move from point A to point B. We’re beginning to realize that a significant enough num­ber of commuters desire access to multiple transportation modes and are likely to use alternatives to driving, at least part of the time, if we couple parking and transportation options in a complementary and seamless manner. In the U.S., universities and colleges are leading this revolution and serve as examples for the entire industry.

Driving Change
There are many factors driving this shift. First, and per­haps most importantly, higher education in the U.S. is facing significant budgetary challenges. To remain com­petitive and relevant, institutions of higher education must add high-caliber faculty, offer inspiring and up-to-date buildings and facilities, and provide programs that inspire, entertain, and support life-long loyalty from alumni. Building parking structures can be expensive, and the typical method of paying for parking garages with permit and citation revenue is largely insufficient to construct what is needed. Even if permit holders can fund new garages through increases in permit fees, there is often little or no political appetite for such endeavors.

Second, a growing sector of the campus ­community—namely students—wants commuting options. Some­times riding a bike to campus is desired while other trips require a car. Sometimes taking Uber or Lyft is the best option while other times the campus shuttle or public transportation works just fine. The myriad of choices is a good thing, but often the options are not designed to work together to provide a mix-and-match approach that can save money and time and improve convenience. Commuters are typically left to figure out on their own how to fit the options together.Fortunately, several high-performing university parking and transportation programs are figuring out that people shouldn’t be considered uni-modal and may, in fact, prefer to use different options depending on the day, season, and circumstance. Knitting together com­muting services in a seamless, convenient, and effective manner is referred to as mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

Mobility as a Service
The MaaS Alliance is a European public-private partnership working to create “the foundations for a common approach to MaaS, unlocking the economies of scale needed for successful implementation and take-up of MaaS in Europe and beyond.” Its goal is to facilitate a single open market and full deployment of MaaS services.
The Alliance defines MaaS as “the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand. To meet a cus­tomer’s request, a MaaS operator facilitates a diverse menu of transport options, be they public transport; ride-, car-, or bike-sharing; taxi or car rental/lease; or a combination thereof.”

The European MaaS framework centers on a single commercially motivated, private-sector technology aggregator that interfaces directly with the consum­er. In the U.S., it is more probable that public-sector providers of parking and transportation will remain as the centerpiece of the commute services delivery. Public-sector players may be supported by both pri­vate operators and technology providers, but delivery will likely flow through the owners of publicly owned facilities and services. The U.S. version of MaaS is mo­bility on demand (MOD) which, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, is defined as “an inno­vative, user-focused approach which leverages emerg­ing mobility services, integrated transit networks and operations, real-time data, connected travelers, and cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to allow for a more traveler-centric, transportation system-of-systems approach, providing improved mo­bility options to all travelers and users of the system in an efficient and safe manner.”

To avoid confusion between MaaS and MOD, I’ll use the term “intermobility” to describe offering a variety of commuting options in a coordinated, com­plementary, and flexible manner that may or may not be tech-­enabled. In the U.S., intermobility is already well beyond the concept stage and found most often at progressive, forward-thinking institutions of higher education. Here are some examples:

Arizona State University
Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) robust alternative transportation features the Eco-Pass program that ties together important modal options. Registered bicyclists, holders of high-occupancy-vehicle carpool permits, and student and employee bus pass holders can purchase a discounted bundle of 30 all-day park­ing passes for parking in a designated parking lot or structure.

The University of Virginia
The University of Virginia provides incentives in which carpool (known as Cavpool) members get 20 occasional use parking permits per year when they sign up to become members. For added flexibility, per­mits are interchangeable among members of the same carpooling group.

Stanford University
Stanford University in California offers the Commute Club, which includes incentives to reduce parking de­mand while providing modal flexibility. For starters, members receive up to $300 per year for agreeing not to drive alone or park near campus. Club members can buy up to eight daily parking permits per month for times they need to drive and can pocket a few hundred dollars per year even when they buy the maximum number of daily permits allowed. Eligible commuters also receive free transit passes and can join a free vanpool or receive a free permit if they carpool. Promotions during the spring and fall include generous prize drawings for members and make the program fun and exciting.

University of Wisconsin
Flex Parking is available at the University of Wiscon­sin. Users of this program sign up for parking for a spe­cific lot or garage but only pay for the actual time they are on campus. Unlike the typical annual parking pass, this approach promotes the use of alternatives to driv­ing. Another innovation allows members of carpools and vanpools to have priority over non-­carpoolers when permit renewal occurs. Front-of-the-line priv­ileges mean those who share a ride get their pick of campus parking locations.

Boise State University
Several years ago, Boise State University in Idaho offered 10 scratch-off daily parking passes for bicycle commuters who purchased access to the university’s secured bicycle storage facility known as the Bike Barn. The program was recently revamped. Now called the Deluxe Bicycle Registration program, the program provides registrants access to secure bicycle storage; their bike is registered (easier to recover if stolen) and they receive four all-day parking passes and 15 percent off university bike shop merchandise and services.

Sacramento State University
Most schools have a mobile app that provides a wealth of information about events, dining options, athletics, and more, and most also provide some information about parking and transportation. Sacramento State University in Californa features commuting informa­tion prominently on its app, and with one click users can get real-time parking availability information, pay for parking, find out when the next shuttle arrives, and find bicycle routes and bike parking options.

Keys to Success
The examples above make clear a few emerging keys to intermobility success:

  • Less all-you-can-eat. In The High Cost of Free Parking, Don Shoup cleverly (and accurately) labels the typical way of selling annual parking permits as “all-you-can-eat.” The problem, Shoup notes, is that when you sell someone something for a whole year, they’re likely to use it. This may not be true of gym memberships, but it’s true for parking. A meaningful enough number of people on your campus may only want or need to drive occasionally. Let’s figure out who those people are and sell boutique permits that may only be good for certain days of the week.
  • Data is key. If we intend to sell fractional parking permits, we’ll need to have a good handle on how our parking facilities are used by day, week, season, and time of day so we don’t over- or under-sell them. Collecting, analyzing, and making data-driven deci­sion will help us ensure that a space will be available even for the occasional parker.
  • Flexibility is a must. I live in a place that isn’t all that friendly to biking a few months out of the year. What’s more, life happens to people, and a mode that seemed to work at one point in your life may not meet all your commuting needs at another time. Inter­mobility requires flexibility so people can pick and choose their modal options based on what best meets their needs. Like with a cellphone contract with no immediate way out, commuters may feel as if making the shift from one mode (driving) to something else (public transportation) may be too much of a com­mitment because they anticipate life happening. The best intermobility programs are those that provide patrons with the most flexibility and an easy way to move from one mode to another based on their needs.
  • Parking is still prime. Let’s face it: Driving is still the dominant mode of transportation and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. Experience suggests that many within the campus community are reluctant to move completely away from their preferred option. The successful intermobility pro­fessional understands this and will package offer­ings to include parking. Several occasional-parker options exist in the higher education space. Maybe we need to welcome and accommodate occasional cyclists and transit riders with pricing and service packages that allow parking most of the time. The truth is that even a modest modal shift away from single-occupancy driving will have a meaningful ef­fect on parking demand, especially if we can spread the reduction in demand broadly across facilities and times of peak occupancy.
  • Single point of sale. Most commuters need some help figuring out what commuting options work best for them, and if we up the complexity ante by allow­ing people to piece their commutes together as they see fit, we’ll likely need a common delivery platform and a single customer interface that easily allows access to each mode.
  • Partnerships make it possible. Universities typ­ically control most, but not all, the modal programs and services offered on a campus. Public transpor­tation systems, private parking owners adjacent to campus, transportation network providers, and others are involved in the provision of transporta­tion services; partnering with outside entities will be essential to maximizing access and mobility and customer convenience most of all.

We’ve understood for a while that we maximize access and mobility when we design, build, and operate parking facilities to accommodate multiple modal op­tions. We also accept and embrace that ours is a service industry and that providing a positive customer expe­rience is crucial to our success and relationship with those we serve. It’s now time to fully integrate parking and transportation programs and services to accom­modate a mix of commuting options that offer conve­nience, flexibility, efficiency, and ease of use.

The truth is that even a modest modal shift away from single-occupancy driving will have a meaningful effect on parking demand, especially if we can spread the reduction in demand broadly across facilities and times of peak occupancy.

Read the article here.

CASEY JONES, CAPP, is vice president at Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc. He can be reached at cjones@timhaahs.com.