Technology Plays Pivotal Role in Easing Austin Parking Challenges
Austin, TX, is one of the fastest-growing US cities, Forbes magazine reported earlier this year. As more people move to the area, efficient parking management is essential.
The International Parking Institute says that one-third of all urban traffic congestion is due to drivers searching for available parking. Austin’s city leaders are working with several technology companies to manage the booming traffic infrastructure.
Adding to its arsenal of innovative parking solutions, the city of Austin is preparing to roll out pre-paid, in-vehicle parking-meter devices next year, which will provide drivers another payment option at both parking spaces and select garages.
Earlier this year, the City Council approved a 36-month contract with OTI America, operator of the EasyPark devices, which operate like a toll tag for parking. The agreement comes at no additional cost to the city, but will allow it to accept EasyPark as a payment method at city parking places.
In addition, Austin recently partnered with ParkMe to provide data for a free iPhone app that allows users in Central Austin to find real-time availability of garage and street parking. (Austin is the first market to launch that real-time app.)
About three years ago, the city completed a technology upgrade to its parking meters. New solar-powered paystations were installed to provide drivers the option to pay with credit or debit cards or with coins. Since implementation, the city has seen a 25% drop in the number of parking citations.
With its congested downtown area, Austin reports it is leading the way in addressing traffic challenges by utilizing technology to effectively manage its growing traffic and parking infrastructures.
(Source: City of Austin, TX)
Article Abstract from December, 2012