Mobile Payment a ‘Hit’ in New Haven
By Tina Dyer and Mike Mohler
New Haven, CT, launched a mobile payment program last summer as an option on all of the city’s approximately 3,000 on-street meters. It has been one of the fastest-adopting cities that have been deployed and ranks in
the top 10 in terms of transactions after the first month compared with
New Haven, with its 130,000 residents, is the second-largest in the state. In recent years, there has been great economic growth, especially within the downtown area. Some $3 billion in investments have contributed to a rise in jobs and population in an already dense urban environment.
With New Haven being the job center of southern Connecticut, along with a growing residential population and two higher education campuses in the downtown area (Yale University and Gateway Community College), having a successful parking structure is a necessity. Pay-by-cellphone has created a new and very customer-friendly means of parking for the city.
The success of this program has been built upon an exciting partnership between the city of New Haven and Parkmobile, the city‘s pay-by-cell provider. Moreover, technology and marketing innovations drove the adoption to more than 45,000 transactions generated since the launch on July 23, 2013.
The program, with more than 2,500 unique users, is rapidly growing each day, as the usage transactions have increased each week since its introduction. Customer satisfaction has reached a 95% satisfaction level, and more than 56% of program members have used pay-by-cell more than once to conduct their parking transactions.
More than 94% of all transactions are generated through a mobile app. The apps offer extremely fast and user-friendly options to add or change any information or to start another parking transaction. Space numbers placed in “Parking History” and “Find My Car” functionality also are available in the mobile app.
All of the city’s parking regulations have been added into the mobile app as well, meaning that a customer cannot unintentionally park past the posted time limit.
Further, program members receive an alert by email, SMS Text, or Push Notification when a parking right is about to expire. They can extend a parking session remotely without the need to return to the meter or risk getting a citation. Members can finish enjoying their meal or complete their shopping trip without the inconvenience of returning to “feed the meter.”They also have a permanent record of each parking transaction, which simplifies expense reporting.
This unprecedented success has provided a wealth of data that can now be used to facilitate a dynamic pricing strategy, optimize on-street parking inventory and asset management metrics, and mitigate congestion and CO2 emissions, contributing to the city’s overall sustainability goals. In addition, this publicly funded program has increased on-street parking revenue for New Haven, while generating public goodwill.
The increased presence and utility of smartphones has accelerated the growth of the pay-by-cell member base. Program members who value the service can easily recommend it to friends and colleagues by word of mouth and, more commonly, social media. The city also has used other alternative avenues to promote the program, such as through PARK(ing) Day and various local community and campus events.
The goal of a city’s Transportation, Traffic and Parking Department is to enable residents, visitors and commuters to park without fear of getting a ticket. New Haven has seen an increase in the usage of pay-by-cell grow by 2% each month since the launch.
Even with the success of Parkmobile, New Haven has not seen a drop in traditional payment methods. This further shows how more payment options results in more meters paid, which is a true benefit to the department and the customer.
Tina Dyer, Parkmobile Marketing Director, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Mike Mohler,
Deputy Director of New Haven’s Transportation, Traffic and Parking Department, at email@example.com.
Article Abstract from February, 2014