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New Android App Predicts Ease/Difficulty of Finding Parking

Some of us rely on common sense and experience to predict parking challenges. We strategize arrival times, head for favorite streets and do our best to avoid parking hassles. It doesn’t always work. There are things we can’t factor like events we’re not aware of and road work we never heard about. Enter Google Maps. The app already offers directions and real-time traffic data. Now it can give users an idea how hard or easy it will be to park if they’re traveling within the cities included in the app’s coverage.

Those areas include San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, the DC area, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Portland and Sacramento. In other words, a lot of the major cities in the U.S. are covered.

According to engadget.com, the app, which was released earlier in January, uses historical data to offer easy, medium or limited ratings for parking in various areas. So far, they’ve gathered data for a list of the country’s most crowded cities, with others to follow in the future.

I’d like to know how often information is gathered for this app. Because the app uses “historical data,” I am curious about how its accuracy compares to my own estimates when it comes to places I visit frequently. If I’m there twice a week and Google Maps only updates its parking measurements once a month, my information is going to be better. As for places I rarely or never go, this app would be very helpful, especially when I’m traveling.

What could be a great tool for the parking industry is the application of this data to parking prices and parking development. Free research at your fingertips from Google Maps.

Read the article here.

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Big Data and Parking at Aspen

BIG DATA  and PIE 2017 

This is the perfect place to collect data, but what should you do with it? How can current and past data help you in your planning for transportation and garage capacities? Do you need that new shuttle? How many spaces should you plan for five years from now? How can you use data to assist in enforcement, keep your customers happy, and do both at the same time?

Presented by : Diego Torres-Palma and Wen Sang from Smarking and Mitch Osur from the City of Aspen

Mitch Osur is the director of parking services in Aspen, Colorado. His background includes extensive customer    service, management responsibility, logistics and budget oversight. Osur was chosen last year for the job as parking director because he is forward thinking about policy, technology and planning – which we have seen lots of proof for. He comes from a background in sports, overseeing 14 retail and rental locations and has worked closely implementing metrics to measure success for customer service and warehouse activity, supervised external communications and owned and managed a $12 million sporting-goods business for more than 30 years in Rochester, NY.

Wen Sang, CEO of Smarking Inc., a technology company that provides data analytics as a service to parking businesses. Wen Sang was born and raised in China, loves driving, holds a PhD degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and enthusiastic about leveraging cutting edge technologies to elevate businesses. Dr. Wen Sang and Smarking have been feature on major media including Boston Globe and TechCrunch.

Diego Torres-Palma is in of charge Growth for Smarking Inc., Diego holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and is also a Boston University MBA, who specializes in customer acquisition and strategic company growth. He has experience launching multiple companies and managing hyper growth of sales team and processes. Diego recently sold his second startup, a bow tie company, and was also named one of NPA’s 40 under 40.

Discover PIE 2017 at pieshow.parkingtoday.com

JVH

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How Green is my Tesla

This blog post a few days ago over at Power Line reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about Teslas and ‘range anxiety.’  He was very defensive and noted that if a person had a problem driving a Tesla from LA to Las Vegas  (Beyond the range of a one charge Tesla) they were simply poor planners.  The amazing thing is that my friend doesn’t even own a Tesla. One of the points in the blog post is that Tesla owners are very proud of their cars and make sure you know they own one. They are most proud because of the lack of environmental impact of their car. Fair enough.

However the blog post I linked above goes to great length to compare the amount of energy used to power a Tesla Model S and a BMW 7 series. (Approximately same size and cost.) There is a lot of math and formulas in the post, but to summarize, the BMW7 actually uses less energy and is therefore less polluting than the Tesla. Not by a lot, but certainly beyond the margin of error.

I had always thought that what electric cars do is simply move the pollution from the tailpipe to a power plant. Energy is energy. To convert it to something we can use, like power to drive wheels, takes more energy. If you don’t believe me, read the blog here.

I think this is too good to check, however I have sent the article to a friend who is an engineer and eats stuff like this for breakfast. If he finds a problem with it I’ll let you know. In the mean time, sit just a little straighter in your Belchfire V12. You may not be killing as many whales as you think.

JVH

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WOW!!!!!!

PIE 2017 will leave you speechless and make you think, “That’s astonishing, amazing, unbelievable”  pieshow.parkingtoday.com

 

 

 

JVH

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We had lunch, and talked Parking

Yesterday I joined about 100 parking pros from across Southern California at the Julie Dixon organized quarterly meeting (or maybe its semi annual) that invites anyone who wants to come and talk parking. Topics were requested when we signed in (fill in a topic on a 3×5 card and Julie would throw it out to the group) and information rained down.

Some random memories:

LPR — License plate recognition — a number of organizations, cities and universities are toying with using LPR to speed up entrance and exit times and ease permit issuance. Nothing is ‘on line’ yet but will be soon. Chris McKenty of Sentry reported on LPR at the MGM and said they were tweeking it almost daily to help it read the various plates seen in Vegas including Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, California and even those from as far away as Florida and Canada. He said they were up to a 90% read rate and used tickets as a back up for those not read. Nice to hear someone tell the truth about LPR.

Dynamic Pricing — Peer Ghent of the city of Los Angeles told about the success of dynamic pricing in Downtown LA. Revenue is up, he gets few complaints (his phone number is on the meters) and it seems to be working well.

Someone asked about “On Street Parking Reservations.” After the laughter died down, it was agreed that it was illegal, but that on street valets could get a variance.

Enforcement tools brought a lot of discussion. Key was that at least half of those present used smart phones as input devices rather than purpose built ticket writers.

I, of course, caused some consternation when the topic of Smart Cities came up. I opined that I felt it was a term in search of a definition and that it could be a marketing campaign for big companies like Conduent (Xerox), Google, Siemens, IBM, Apple, Microsoft and the like. At lunch Ann Muenster-Nuiry of Conduent introduced herself and I agreed to meet to find out all about what they were doing in this area. Yikes.  It was noted that often sending data to individuals happened long after the fact and therefore was not as helpful as it could be.  I commented that typically the technology was bid at low prices and there wasn’t enough money to truly make things work properly.

Oh and we discussed Pay by Cell and Peer noted that although LA had a program, it was used in less than 1 percent of the transactions. Julie asked how many in the room had pay by cell and how many had more than 5%.  No one did. I noted that LA didn’t promote it at all and when I asked, found that only about half those present who lived in LA even knew the program existed.  Peer glanced at me with some disdain.

Julie puts on a great event. Contact her at Julie@dixonresourcesunlimited.com to get on the mailing list for the next one.

JVH

 

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WHOA!!!!!

PIE 2017 will stop you dead in your tracks and make you think, “I can’t believe what I just saw and heard!”  pieshow.parkingtoday.com

 

JVH

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Parking and Transportation Through Omaha’s Eyes

PIE 2017 presents on Monday:

Parking Policy is often viewed as a separate component of the broader transportation program in a city. It’s clear that mobile payments and mobile platforms are on the rise, but how can cities combine payment initiatives to improve the downtown experience? Smart phones, smart cards, and the like work in some cities to pay all transportation fees, but can they work in yours? Presented by : Khristian J. Gutierrez, Chief Business Development Officer, Passport, Inc. and Ken Smith, Parking Director, City of Omaha, Nebraska

Khristian received his M.S. in Finance from the Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida and his B.S. in Business Administration, also at UF. After graduation, Khristian excelled in Investment Banking at Wells Fargo Securities (WFS). He left WFS in 2011 to start Passport, guiding the company to the closing of its first funding round of $6M in 2013. As Chief Business Development Officer, he crafts and leads Passport’s strategy to achieve market leadership and manages major projects, including the implementation of Toronto Parking Authority’s mobile payment platform, the largest municipal deployment in North America.

Ken Smith is the City of Omaha’s first Parking Manager and as such was tasked with restructuring and establishing a consolidated entity as a enterprise fund for the City. Prior to Omaha, he worked in a similar role with the City of Lincoln and developed a successful program which was nominated for “Parking Program of the Year” by the International Parking Institute. Ken’s earlier roles included planning administration with the City of Council Bluffs and as a consultant with the architecture and engineering firm of JEO Consulting Group.

Ken is a Certified Administrator of Public Parking and co-chairs the International Parking Institute’s Intelligent Transportation System & Parking Task Force.

PIE 2017 – full info here

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100 Pages of Parking and Four Days of Information

I just saw the final proofs for the February Issue of Parking Today. Its 100 pages has more parking information in its stories, promotions, and ads than any issue we have produced. PLUS Eric has provided the complete program for PIE 2017 with speakers, seminars, exhibitors and schedules included in the issue.

We have come a long way from that first Parking Industry Exhibition held back in 1999. This year we are hosting the largest exhibition evah, with 148 booths with parking vendors from all over the world.

But most exciting for me, are our keynote speakers, pictured on PT’s February Cover you see nearby. These three come at you from all points of the compass, parking, psychological, and marketing to bring you the most well rounded program we could devise.  Singapore’s Paul Barter brings an international look at parking, Dr. Mark Goulson tells us about “Talking to Crazy” and even channels Steve Jobs. Michael Houlihan will keep you laughing as he takes everything you thought you knew about business apart and leaves you wondering. These are world class keynoters.

If you attend no other parking event this year, you need to make PIE 2017 a destination. Parking Today February is big, PIE 2017 is bigger.  View PT February on Friday at parkingtoday.com

JVH

 

 

 

 

 

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There are Nooks and Crannies…

A friend once told me that he thought most of the action at trade shows was in the lobby of the hotel.  That is why  PIE 2017 is at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. This hotel was designed for a trade event. It has the ballrooms and seminar rooms convenient to the lobby and rooms. But there is more.

The open lobby around the central elevators has large comfortable seating areas where attendees and vendors can network. The “Red Bar” is large, inviting and open. Attendees can grab a bite, or a drink, and chat about the happenings.

Everywhere you look there is a nook or cranny where you can sit, talk and yes, even make deals. And all this is beside the exhibit hall, seminar areas, and theaters.

This is a world class facility and PIE 2017 is extremely happy to be back.  Join us.

pieshow.parkingtoday. com

JVH

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Numbers Don’t Lie

On Parknews.biz, it’s reported that parkbytext users in Ireland used the service for 900,000 parking transactions in 2016. The company also reached a happy milestone: 100,000 registered users.

The great thing about mobile payment applications and technologies is that the numbers keep track of themselves, almost. Usage is easily recorded and details about users can be quantified through the registration process.

Other parkbytext stats include:

The biggest adopters to parkbytext is Irish Rail customers, with an average of 44% choosing to pay through parkbytext over traditional ‘pay and display’ machines. On average 22% of customers choose parkbytext as their preferred payment method, over traditional ‘pay and display’ machines, with 50% of parkbytext transactions originating from the app.

I still use cash and cards to pay for parking, and I’m not big on registering for anything, because I don’t believe in giving away my data for free – unless it has real benefits for me. But I’m impressed by the way mobile pay technology supports itself. So many transactions are passive – for the user and provider.

Information on the busiest day, busiest venue and duration of stay are just a few of the numbers that have been gathered by the company. Though there are a lot of people paying with credit cards and cash, the data gathered by parkbytext shows, without question, that its users are adopting mobile pay options. It’s got to be encouraging for company officials.

Read the release here.

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