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Mobile Applications Bring New Ease of Use to Drivers, Garage Owners and Operators

August, 2018

Sarah Kahler

Itís a typical Monday and you wake up late with 15 minutes until you need to leave for work. You throw on a wrinkled outfit, quickly brush your teeth, and grab your car keys and cell phone as you head out the door. After a stressful 30-minute race to your office, you reach for your ID badge to get into the parking garage, but you canít find it. Itís not in the center console, itís not in the door, and itís not under your seat. Itís likely sitting on the kitchen table where you set it down last night.


You panic for a moment thinking about the time you will waste driving home to get your badge, the cost of gas, and the 9 AM meeting you will likely miss because of the small mistake you made while rushing out the door.


After a deep breath you realize you donít need your access card at all. You open the app on your smartphone and click the open gate button. The gate opens automatically and youíre back on schedule for the day.


You grab your coffee, check your emails, and head to the conference room to set up for your meeting. Your guests arrive right on time, and though their office is located on the other side of town and owned by a different company that yours, they can use their regular mobile application to reserve a parking spot and enter your garage.


The meeting runs a bit over schedule, but you walk your guest to the front door around 10:45 AM. As they exit, they receive a notification from their app granting them a discount. They accept the charges and pay their bill before they arrive at their vehicle.


A few hours later and you have officially survived another Monday in the office. After work, you walk back to the garage adjacent to your office and open the mobile app you used to enter the garage.


Moments later you approach the exit lane, select the same open gate button you used to originally enter the garage, and you are on your way home.


With branded mobile applications such as ParkBlue, this ticketless process is becoming standard on off-street parking locations.


These apps not only allow the driver access in and out of the garage with the touch of a button, but they bring a new ease to parking your vehicle. In todayís mobile and instant society, people forget access cards or lose tickets, but they never forget their cell phones.


Garage owners and operators need to take advantage of the increasing importance of mobile devices in day to day life. Because drivers always carry their devices with them, they can receive instant communications.


This communication allows garage owners and operators to share discounts or special pricing with drivers. This change in pricing allows the mobile app to calculate the correct bill amount for drivers based on the total time the vehicle is parked. Flat rate, percentage based, and hourly discounts can be applied. Additionally, drivers can quickly pay their bills inside the application.


This time tracking data, along with demographic data, can be collected and housed in a true SaaS system.


This knowledge can be used by owners and operators to send appropriate coupons and measurable digital marketing messages to the correct individual or group of people.


As more and more drivers are attracted to these ticketless garages, they will begin to fill up quickly. Due to ParkBlueís communication capabilities, the branded mobile application can direct drivers to nearby garages to help with the spillover effect. This spillover effect needs to be handled quickly and efficiently, or loss of business may occur.


The best way for owners and operators to handle spillover is to keep drivers within the ownersí web of garages. Using a true SaaS system allows operators to control their garages as one mega-facility, or multiple single garages. By having the ability to manage each off-street lot this way, operators can keep incoming drivers within their own garage network, and guide them to spots that meet their requirements. These requirements can include, but are not limited to, cost limitations and destination.


A large portion of this spillover congestion can be avoided by motivating drivers to make reservations for individual spots before they leave their houses.


By tracking and utilizing data, garage owners and operators can make off-street parking more efficient and convenient for todayís drivers. This ease of use will motivate drivers to return to your garage, ultimately giving you a better return on investment.


Sarah Kahler is marketing manager with Tiba Parking. She can be reached at sarah.kahler@tibaparking.com




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