Tag Archives: technology

QR Code Safety

The January  2022 edition of the IPMI Insider newsletter shared a link to an article that caused quite a stir titled, “Scammers Are Using QR Codes to Plunder Parking Meter Payments.” 

The response from the IPMI community was swift and abundant. Several companies have shared their responses to this challenge, and we would like to share them with you.

You can always count on IPMI members to navigate a tricky topic, and get you actionable information you can use!

 

Industry Disconnect: Cutting Edge vs. Reality

By Kevin White, CAPP, AICP

I fear there may be a disconnect developing between a lot of parking and mobility industry discourse around new, “cutting edge” technology and many municipalities and parking operations across the United States and beyond. It seems every time I turn around, there are new vendors and technologies and solutions flooding the parking and mobility market. The creativity and innovation are welcome; new ideas, people, and technologies are essential for continued industry growth and advancement. That said, it’s dizzying at times, and we professionals work to stay on top of all the developments.

New technologies, cameras, sensors, apps, “big data,” “integrated solutions,” curb management, micro-mobility, and other topics have been en vogue in our industry in recent years. We all love talking about and learning about what’s new, what’s cutting edge. These topics are essential, but I fear that industry discussion and solutions being proposed are aimed predominantly at the upper “1 percent” of cities and operators—large, dense, urban, and multi-modal cities or other large operators with dedicated staff, expertise, and resources.

Our dialogue and solutions presume a certain level of parking and mobility expertise, a certain level of resources and operational savvy to even be able to consider or understand the new ideas, new ways of managing curb space or parking and mobility systems, or the new latest and greatest technology.

I think we are failing to speak to the lion’s share of the municipalities and parking operators across this country: the medium and smaller communities that still need to manage parking and mobility systems but do not have dedicated staff, specific parking knowledge or training, or are constrained to complete fundamental management tasks, who may not collect parking and mobility data or even know what to collect or how to use it. These communities may also struggle with limited resources and staff time.

We need to do more as industry professionals to create a dialogue, a message, and a set of solutions that reaches the masses and addresses a range of issues with customized solutions.

Kevin White, CAPP, AICP, is a parking and mobility consultant with Walker Consultants.

Not Your Grandfather’s Parking Garage: How Parking Technology Helps Parking Owners Thrive

By Matt Jobin and Kevin Bopp

During the past 18 months, the parking industry has experienced dramatic change, perhaps more than at any other time–at least since Model Ts started rolling off the assembly line. There’s no crystal ball that enables parking owners to see the future and recognize whether these changes are permanent or how long temporary shifts will continue. But after many months of COVID-induced effects and halting efforts to return to some semblance of normal life, one thing has become increasingly clear: parking owners need to be more agile and adaptive.

Parking behavior may never completely return to pre-COVID patterns. Businesses will permit employees to work more from home some percentage of the time while also instituting shared office arrangements; restaurants and retail businesses will continue to offer curbside pick-up. These changes will dramatically affect how much parking is needed and how existing parking resources can be optimally managed. Also, the auto industry’s pending switch to all-electric production will change what parking facilities look like.

Technology will be the key to ensuring that parking operations are able to maintain the agility and adaptability they need to thrive as the world continues to evolve. We tend to think of the most important parking technologies—PARCS, guidance, mobile payment, etc.—in terms of how they improve the parking experience. But they also collect and analyze vital utilization data that can (and SHOULD) be leveraged to keep operations agile and adaptive.

When you know who (shoppers, office workers, theatergoers, residents etc.) is using your parking asset and when, you are equipped to make better decisions about how to allocate parking resources. This also extends to decisions about whether to reallocate parking spaces for others uses such as EV charging, micro-mobility infrastructure, or TNC drop-offs. You might even set aside some space to rent to Amazon for their fleet of delivery drones!

The changes facing the parking industry are challenging, but by staying flexible and using data insights strategically, parking owners can overcome them and thrive. Technology is the key.

Matt Jobin is  an architect/project manager with Rich & Associates, and Kevin Bopp is CEO of Park Rite. They will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 2, in Tampa, Fla.

Is Your Customer Experience (CX) Good Enough?

Businesswoman on blurred background rating with hand drawn starsBy Brian Wolff

Customer experience (CX) has gotten complicated and competitive in the last five years! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but what started out as a location, location, location business has turned into a technology-fueled and customer choice driven business. Gone are the days when we could hang a sign at the entrance, open the gates and let them in. Parking customers are making choices about where to park long before they arrive, with devices that didn’t exist 15 short years ago (their smartphones). And when they arrive, that gate better go up, or they’ll tell you–and millions of other people–about that negative experience via social media.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, delivering a great customer experience has become the guiding light for every company on the planet, which means the experience you deliver to your customers isn’t measured by how the “parking guy” down the street does it. Rather, experts tell us that every experience is compared to the best experience that customer has ever had. That means you are now competing with Disney, Amazon, The Ritz Carlton, AND the guy down the block!

The good news is that the same technology that made your life more complicated, and business more competitive, has also created infinitely better tools for you to help your customers. Innovative companies are leveraging the Internet, cloud computing, and smartphones to give you the ability to know more about your customers, give them more choices about how to choose and pay for parking in your facility, and help them when they get stuck.

This same technology has also made it easier for collaboration between innovative companies, bringing their technologies together to deliver a better CX for your customers. There is no turning back to the good old days. We all must move forward, embrace the digital transformation sweeping our industry and meet our customers where they are–on their smartphones and in the cloud.

Brian Wolff is president and CEO of Parker Technology. He will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, in Tampa, Fla.

Why You Should Reinvent the Wheel

Car wheel, yellow background. 3D illustration.By Katherine Beaty

The saying “don’t reinvent the wheel” is so wrong! The wheel, strictly speaking, has been reinvented tons of times. We did not always have the full rubber wheel you see on automobiles today. The wheel started from a round stone slab, then was reinvented from stone to a solid round slab of wood, then reinvented again to a wooden wheel with spokes, next came metal frames, and then rubber was added.

The best reason to reinvent something is to learn! Revolutionary ideas do not come that easily, so if you want to learn and develop a great idea, it often comes from using an existing idea–the wheel–and then deciding how it could be more efficient. You need skills to create your idea. By working on something that already exists, you can make yourself understand how it work and how it can be improved. Things are not perfect, but they are perfectible.

Another great modern example of recreating the wheel: cell phones. They started off as heavy brick-like items the size of a suitcase. Now they can be as small as a watch, in fact they can be a cell phone and a watch at the same time!

Where do you think we would be today if someone said to Steve Jobs, “Hey, you do not need to reinvent the wheel–the phone works just fine.”

Remember that things evolve because people continue to reinvent the wheel, and this should be encouraged.

Katherine Beaty is VP of implementation at Tez Technology.

IPMI Webinar: Teleworking: An Alternate Mobility Mode. Presented by Perry H. Eggleston, CAPP & Ramon Zavala University of California at Davis.

Teleworking: An Alternate Mobility Mode

Perry H. Eggleston, CAPP, DPA; Executive Director for Transportation Services; University of California at Davis

Ramon Zavala, Transportation Demand Manager, UC Davis Transportation Services

We are currently launching a new member portal. Please contact us at professionaldevelopment@parking-mobility.org to register.

Or purchase the entire 2021 professional development series bundle.


Rahm Emanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Last year brought discussions of campus closures, telelearning, and teleworking. Within a week, these discussions were reality. When the awareness that this COVID thing would last longer than a few weeks, we started to look at how the lull could be used to keep the momentum of teleworking going as a demand-reduction tool.

To address all the issues for making teleworking an ongoing mobility strategy, we created a telework committee. Stakeholders from human resources, technology, safety and ergonomics, employee/union relations, communications, and finance. Transportation Services coordinates the committee, which will address the physical, legal, supervisory, and training issues and keep teleworking a viable mobility option into the future.

Attendees will:

  • Illustrate how teleworking is a mobility advantage.
  • Recognize the institutional needs of a teleworking program.
  • Detail best practices and measure the effectiveness of amnesty and relief programs for constituents and revenue recovery efforts.

Offers 1 CAPP Credit towards application or recertification.


Presenters:

Perry H. Eggleston, CAPP, DPA; Executive Director for Transportation Services; UC Davis Transportation Services

Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA, has more than 25 years’ experience developing, refining, and implementing mobility programs as an officer, supervisor, manager, director, consultant, and executive director. In his career, he has served organizations in California, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Texas. He is an active member of the IPMI and California Public Parking Association.

Ramon Zavala, Transportation Demand Manager, UC Davis Transportation Services

Ramon Zavala holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from UC Irvine, where he began his work in transportation demand management. After seven years with UCI’s Transportation department, he transferred to UC Davis’ Transportation Services, where he manages the TDM program, transit relations, and overseeing the overseeing the bicycle program.

 

Register here.

 

 

 

 

Revenue Control System Procurement in a New World

Sihouette of woman with technology symbols superinposed on her headBy Don Barrett, CAPP

In the past 24 years I have seen many improvements in the revenue control systems that are available on the market. We have seen some equipment providers stop production of their lines of equipment the past several years. We have also seen the number of new upstart companies grow at a far greater rate, specifically in the mobile payment arena.

With all these changes, there has to be some thought put into the procurement process of a new revenue control system. This process should involve both short- and long-term goals of the system. As with all technology, anyone purchasing a system must realize that in the fast-paced tech world, new features and functionality will inevitably occur.

When procuring a system, there are several options available. The procurement can be done directly through various methods. The system can be purchased by the owner/operator directly from a manufacturer. The owner/operator can request pricing for systems from a select number of manufacturers. And the owner/operator can enlist the assistance of a consultant who will provide guidance and manage an RFP process.

Regardless of the method of procurement that is selected, the system requirements should be clearly identified. What functionalities will the new system need to have? Whether the new system will need to provide monthly parking functionality, LPR, availability to remotely monitor the facility, transient, and a myriad of other functionalities must be considered. A schedule for the procurement process should also be determined, containing initial meetings for system specifications and provide realistic timelines for each stage of the procurement process. Upon completion of the selection process, the purchaser and system provider should meet and continue to refine the timeline so all expectations are clearly defined. At the end of the process, the goal is to have a system that meets all the goals of the owner/operator.

Don Barrett, CAPP, is executive vice president, aviation, with REEF Parking.