Tag Archives: recovery

My Parking Career Wasn’t Over After All

I love my job concepts with text on light box on desk.By David Horn, CAPP

In March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, life began to change quickly and the outcomes were a mystery to all of us. My family and I took a summer trip in late July. Upon returning to work, I was told my position would be eliminated at the end of August. Knowing the condition of the industry due to COVID, my future looked dim.

I reached out to my network, sharpened my resume, and began looking for my next opportunity, wondering if I might have to leave the industry I love so much. After months of applying, interviewing, and dead ends, my outlook grew grim. My friend of 30 years who works in automotive, invited me to join him in Texas at the plant he manages building sub-assemblies. He assured me I would be successful. On Jan. 1, I left for Arlington Texas, for what would be a four-month contract role that became permanent. To say I was overwhelmed would be the understatement of the decade.

By early March, I reached the conclusion that I probably was not a good fit for automotive; I just did not feel a passion for it. I longed for my first love—parking! I gave notice later that month and agreed to work through the end of the contract.

I began looking for my next opportunity. The last week of April, Tim Hoppenrath sent me a note asking if I still knew anyone in Jacksonville. This was the opportunity I had hoped for. Forty-five days later, I joined an awesome team and returned to the industry I love. My career in parking wasn’t over after all.

David Horn, CAPP, is market president, Jacksonville, at Premium Parking.

Managing and Thriving Amid Disruption

Line drawing of man jumping over missing step in staircaseBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

The past 15 months have taught us many valuable lessons, including some aroudn increased awareness and adapting to change. Our industry has certainly managed this change in its own unique way, with parking and mobility programs implementing improvements that were rooted in being proactive and using policy, operations, technology, and service as a means of strengthening our communities and promoting wellness and accessibility without compromising safety.

As we leave the final stages of the pandemic and move into the full stages of recovery, the lessons learned from the pandemic era will serve us well as we encounter new and different disruptions along the way. From the immediate effects of changing commutes to the longer-term impacts of climate change and a transportation system shifting to autonomy and shared-fleet services, our industry will continue to face disruption. And the last year has proven we don’t really know what’s in store for us.

At next week’s virtual IPMI Mobility and Innovation Summit, the IPMI Research & Innovation Task Force has assembled a panel of parking and mobility professionals who are facing immediate and long-term disruptions head on and moving their communities forward with transformational projects, pilots, and policy changes:

  • Jeff Petry from Eugene, Ore., is implementing community-based changes to promote equity in the community and support re-opening efforts.
  • Phil Garcia of Facebook is preparing the campus for a return to work with innovative practices to support changing commutes.
  • Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA, of UC Davis is implementing a new payment structure rooted in transportation demand management and flexible options for changing commutes.

We hope you’ll join us for the Summit and this particular discussion on Wednesday June 30, at 4:15 p.m. Eastern. And we hope you’ll continue to prepare yourself and your community for change in a positive way!

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

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

Nonchalant man attempting to hide an elephant under a chair, vector illustration, EPS 8By Roamy Valera, CAPP

I will not mention and/or refer to the significant and major event of the past 12 months or so. In fact, I will treat it as it treated my last birthday (like it never happened!).

I was in a conversation right before writing this piece about why I was suddenly feeling so anxious. I have been in a FOMO (fear of missing out) state since my vaccination, as if the gates had opened and I was still standing by, waiting for a starter gun to go off and announce the race was back on. I have even checked in with some of my travel warriors to hear about their travel scorecards. And so far, they too are waiting for the cannon to go off. In fact, the airline that owned most of my waking time over recent years has, too, sensed I am ready and willing to get on with my travels with an everyday email reminding me how much they miss me (and my dollars).

So as such, I will ignore the elephant in the room and hope you are prepared to welcome me in your conference rooms, your hotels and restaurants, and more importantly, your cities. I have realized that I need human contact and interactions. I need to be engaged in face-to-face conversations and I need to give out handshakes and hugs. I am ready to move about the country and get back to business. We owe it to ourselves and to science!

Roamy Valera, CAPP, is CEO, North America, with PayByPhone.

What Is That New Normal?

New normal word with yellow arrow on roadBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

For the past 12 months, we have been pontificating about what the post-pandemic world might look like:

  • Would we all just work from home forever?
  • Would we have all of our goods delivered out of convenience?
  • Would the state of our downtowns and campuses forever be shifted?
  • Would people even commute and park anymore?

If you talked to some people this time one year ago (me included), you’d have thought the new environment would be a completely different world than the “before times,” while other people were convinced we would bounce back and go right back to where we were. And as with everything in life, the answer likely lies somewhere in the middle: A little bit of good from the before, a little bit of good from the quarantine days, and you find yourself in a post-pandemic world that begins to reshape life without radically transforming our industry’s landscape.

I’ve had the good fortune of doing some interesting work with several programs over the past few months, evaluating what change was beginning to look like–analyzing data and patterns about how people were commuting and parking and what those shifts taught us. As the country opened up further and further in the summer and fall of 2020, we began to see more people come back into the office or emerge for destination-based trips. And as we’ve entered into 2021, we can begin to start seeing some of the patterns that will shape our industry, including
hybrid work models (two to three days per week in the office) that create alternative commute patterns

Shifts in demand peaks, like higher demand levels in the evening for destination-based demands (restaurants and entertainment districts), are likely different in every community. As a parking program manager, it’s critical to begin looking deeper into your data now to understand how the new demand patterns will affect your programs, policies, and practices. Begin to review permit patron patterns: How often are they coming in and when are they coming in? Look at transient patterns: When do they occur and how does this compare to similar times in 2019? Looking at how those shifts are occurring can begin to help you shape what you offer your patrons and how you manage your system. And as the country returns to a more stable activity pattern, you will be prepared to define what the new normal is for your program to serve the community around you.

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

Time to Re-think the Goals of Transit

woman with face mask texting on the phone while traveling by bus.By Lesli Stone, CAPP

I was recently listening to an NPR Podcast, All Things Considered, where the topic was “What is the Future of Public Transit in the U.S.?” There were a lot of great points made in reference to system budget deficits and what relief could be expected.

The discussion continued with the expected, well-thought-out arguments regarding service cuts being a result of lower ridership–the resulting reduced service being a catalyst for even lower ridership, and the death spiral continues. Then I heard the following:

“One of the problems we have is that we’re very focused on maintaining the status quo. Everything about the investments we make in our transportation system are ensuring that people can continue to get around in the same ways that they did, you know, 10 years ago. And so for the most part, the transit options we’ve been giving people have been very similar year in, year out. And many of the support programs that have been announced during the COVID crisis have been about maintaining that status quo.” Yonah Freemark, Urban Institute.

What if we are doing it wrong? What if our “new normal” requires a new way of thinking about an old problem? The morning commute now looks very different for many people. Our choice travel destinations are no longer the same.

Maybe now is the time to think about transit in a very basic way. Who is going places and where, exactly, are they going? How can we help them get their safely and conveniently? How can we help them plan their trip?

Before we can decide what the future of transit in the U.S. actually is, we probably need to decide if the status quo is actually what we are aiming for. If so, then we should feel free to carry on. If not? We should redefine the actual problem that we are trying to solve.

Lesli Stone, CAPP, is general manager at National Express Transit Corporation.

September 1, 2021: Free Online Shoptalk: Hospital/Medical Center Parking and Mobility: Unique Challenges and Solutions

Hospital/Medical Center Parking and Mobility: Unique Challenges and Solutions, Moderated by George Richardson, CAPP, UF Health Shands Hospital

Register for free here.

Join IPMI for our next online Shoptalk addressing the parking, transportation, and mobility industry’s response and recovery planning. Open to all, join us for discussions centered on best practices, next steps, and the challenges ahead.

IPMI News: Take the 2021 IPMI Market Trends & Recovery Survey

IPMI has released our new 2021 Market Trends & Recovery Survey, and we need your insight!

Members and industry colleagues are invited to submit. Contact information is never required, but if you would like to be entered in our raffles, please be sure to fill this out in full.  All participants who share their contact information will be entered in a raffle for two prizes: an Apple Watch and a Nintendo Switch.

Complete the survey before March 1, 2021! 

Free Online Shoptalk: Airports: Short- and Long-term Recovery Moderated by Matt Sherwood, CM – MWAA

Airports: Short- and Long-term Recovery Moderated by Matt Sherwood, CM, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority – MWAA

March 3, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET

To register, click here. 

Free to all industry professionals. 

Join IPMI for our next online Shoptalk addressing the parking, transportation, and mobility industry’s response and recovery planning. Open to all, join us for discussions centered on best practices, next steps, and the challenges ahead.

Shoptalk Summary 

With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available and life—and travel—returning to something resembling normal, airports are seeing more traffic, which means more people parking and using mobility options. Recovery is in sight.

Join us to talk about how airport parking and transportation operations are recovering: What’s going back to “normal,” and what new technologies, practices, and ways of doing things will stay permanent. Bring your challenges, solutions so far, questions, and observations for an open roundtable discussion.

Submit your questions and thoughts for the discussion on the registration page.

Matthew Sherwood, C.M., Metropolitan Washing Airport Authority – MWAA

Matt Sherwood is a revenue strategy program manager for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, whose mission is to develop, promote, and safely operate Reagan National and Dulles International airports. He has been in the parking and ground transportation industry for 15 years. Matt is part of the team that is responsible for managing the airports’ commercial parking portfolio and his primary focus is consumer strategy, enhancing the customer experience, revenue optimization, and pricing.

He is actively involved in the industry and is currently serving on IPMI’s Technology Committee and Awards of Excellence Committee.