Magazine

Which On-Street Revenue System Should I Buy?

Parking Today reached out to a dozen on-street suppliers and asked for short, bullet-point-type reasons organizations with on-street parking should buy their products. We then combined the reasons and print them here. The companies responding and their websites are at the end of the article. Editor
Single-space meter
• Single-space metering is the most convenient parking option for motorists, especially in cold climates – pay where you park.
• They are simple to use – insert payment and see your purchased time appear on the display.
• They are simple to enforce – just drive by or walk by looking for the red “Expired” signal. At night, this is a blinking red LED, even easier to see from a distance. (Enforceability, by the way, is a very big factor in a successful paid-parking system.)
• They can easily integrate with other technologies, such as pay-by-cell and vehicle detection systems.
• If a meter is sitting in front of your parking space, there is no doubt you should pay or at least read the enforcement hours/days on the sign or meter decal. One can’t use the excuse, “I didn’t know this was a paid-parking area.”
• If one meter malfunctions or is vandalized, you can park at another nearby. Only one parking space is affected.
• They are easily upgraded, allowing a city to recycle their housings with new internal mechanisms, paint and Victorian-type poles.
• They are extremely reliable.
With credit card option
• A single-space meter mechanism can accept payment by coin, credit card, debit card and smart card – easy and flexible payment options for the motorist.
• They can be wirelessly networked to a web-based management system – perfect for remote programming, real-time reporting and dynamic pricing models.
• They are the most cost-effective parking management and metering solution per space.
Refurbished meters
• Parking meters were designed to last decades out on the street. Repainting and adding new domes help the area look better. With the way the economy or the environment is taken into consideration, refurbishing services or purchasing refurbished meters just makes sense.
• The labor cost to repair a mechanical or electronic mechanism makes the repair cost almost as much as buying a new one. So we offer a fully warranted refurbished electronic at half the price.
Pay-by-phone
• Very convenient for the end user.
• No need for cash.
• No worries about putting in the right amount of money and getting ticketed because of expiration.
• No standing in line at machines.
• Online overview of parking invoices.
• Easy to implement.
• Easy to enforce.
• Increased revenue and lower cost.
• No upfront investment needed.
• Make it secure. Make sure your supplier is PCI-DSS Level 1 certified for storing and transmitting card information.
• Real-time data – see all transactions, run all reports and update all rates in real time.
• Reduce IT burden. All back-office and enforcement systems are web-enabled. No local software or hardware installs needed.
• Price it right. Every pay-by-phone user has a unique ID. Give them the right price: Live in the city or on campus, pay less; drive a big car, pay more. You decide what’s the right policy mix of carrots and sticks.
• Offer choice. It’s not just pay-by-phone; it’s pay-by-mobile-web, pay online, pay-by-app, pay-by-SMS, pay in advance – six easy payment options.
Multispace meter
• Provides the ability to pay with multiple forms of payment; coins, bills, smart cards, credit cards, contactless cards and tokens.
• Provides a paper receipt as proof of payment.
• Has the technology to have software upgrades done remotely over a wireless network, eliminating the need to visit each meter when a rate change is required or other changes in the tariff structure.
• Has soft keys on the user interface that are programmable, allowing for easy instructions for the user. And since they are programmable, (they) can be changed as needed with software without going to each unit and changing signage.
• Electronic keys provide a secure solution and are easy to change if a collection or maintenance key is lost or stolen – no need to change out locks on the unit.
• With large and secure cash areas (1,000 bills and over 2,800 coins), the need for collections is reduced.
• Solar power eliminates the need to provide AC voltage to remote areas or dig up existing pavements.
• Increases parking revenues over single space meters
• A stylish kiosk replaces all the single space meters on your block – it improves your streetscape.
• Lower maintenance costs – just 1 robust multi-space pay station to maintain rather than 10 or so single space meters.
• Lower maintenance costs – the multi-space pay station has on-board self-diagnostics; the kiosk continually self-checks and communicates wirelessly to the operator its status. You only need to check on the meter when it tells you “come see me, please”
• Lower collections costs – only need to collect from 1 kiosk rather than 10 (single-space parking meters). Plus the coin vault in a kiosk can hold up to 3000 quarters, meaning you need to visit it much less often.
• If you choose a centrally-connected pay-by-space system rather than a locally-managed multi-bay system, you receive the following benefits:
a. A motorist can pay for his space from any kiosk in the city; he does not have to return to his space to purchase additional time.
b. Enforcement is easier. The officer can wirelessly connect, via a handheld device, with the central server and download all the payment data for the zone to be enforced. Based on that data, the officer can decide where to go. He or she does not have to “make rounds” and visit every meter to know if it needs enforcing.
• Operator can manage policies, even rates, at the space level, not the block level (e.g., you can “close” two spaces to parking for a week to allow construction vehicle use).
• Handy for older population – think retirement communities – because the motorist does not have to return to his car to place parking receipt on dash.
Individual space monitoring on-street
• Space-detection technology enables municipalities to engage in meaningful facts-based dialogue with their constituents. Constituents may be represented by parking commuters, retailers, property developers or councilors.
• Municipalities can monitor and measure new initiatives. Whether the initiative be new rates or new times or a redeployment of parking officers, the municipality can measure the initiatives they employ and the effect it has on parking behavior.
• Municipalities will have a record of every parking infringement and can compare against actual citations issued. This would allow the municipality to better understand actual behavioral parking practices and how they compare with current regulations.
• Municipalities can use the information gathered from vehicle movement to compare against meter revenue. Further, on single-head older machines, municipalities can, through meter resetting, claim the time back or allocate a grace period to all parkers as a goodwill gesture.

Sidebar:
Companies responding:
IPS Group – www.ipsgroupinc.com
Duncan Solutions – www.duncansolutions.com
Parkmobile Group -– www.parkmobile.com
Metric Parking – www.metricparking.com
Verrus – www.verrus.com
Parkeon – www.parkeon.com
Meter Products Co. – www.meterproducts.com
Database Consultants Australia – www.data.com.au
POM Inc. – www.pom.com

Article Abstract from February, 2010




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