MaaS, Transportation, Technology and Parking – We are the Same Industry

There’s an article linked over at parknews.biz from the data giant Cisco. It is titled: Technology, Services Can Sustain Parking Companies.

Its told from tech companies’ point of view. Car population will be a quarter of what it is now in 12 years. The parking industry is hanging by a thread. Etc etc etc. Follow the link to it here.

It has some good ideas that you should be doing already. Nothing really out of the ordinary. But it got me to thinking. Since we are part of the transportation business, shouldn’t we be thinking about how we can relate to other transportation types.

More people travel by car than any other transportation activity (train, bus, plane, bicycle, foot, rapid transit) and most of these bump up against a parking facility at one point or another. Ride sharing and autonomous vehicles aside, that’s not going to change much. There is still the first mile last mile problem.

Our betters are trying to pack us into downtown areas, but only to a point. People will still live in one area and work in another, and with the exception of a very few compact downtowns, people will still have to get to the train, bus, airport at the beginning of their trip, and have to get from the station to their final destination at the other. That first/last mile problem isn’t going away.

You will be seeing more of the term MaaS or Mobility as a Service. Transportation officials sometimes forget the word ‘Service’ is a part of this. And as we parking folks know, ‘Service’ is important if you want to make a system work well and be used by the public.

Billion-dollar trains go unused in LA because they don’t go where people need them to go. There are no parking facilities at the stations so people can drive a short distance, leave their cars, and then ride the train for longer distances. Then at the other end, they need to deal with that last mile.  Consider:

  • Maybe off airport lots could be 40 miles from the airport (near a train station).
  • Rideshare, Uber and Lyft and shuttle pick ups could be in your garage near a downtown station.
  • Should multi use facilities including parking be developed near existing metro stations?
  • What is the real desire, get cars off the freeway or out of downtown altogether?

Wouldn’t you like to be involved in those discussions? You ignore it at your peril.


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