Oh Please — “Yes, Uber is Really Killing the Parking Business”

We posted an article with the above headline at Park News just to show you how the main stream media picks things out of context and then doesn’t know enough to ask a question or two.

The article quoted the CEO of Ace Parking last year saying that numbers were down in hotel and valet operations. Well DUH. This is exactly the area we know is down due to ride sharing operations. Did they ask him about the rest of the parking business – of course not. That doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead.

It makes sense that Uber and Lyft will affect valet operations, particularly at clubs and restaurants, and since business travelers now take Uber rather than rent cars, they don’t pay for parking at hotels, and of course off airport parking numbers are down for the same reasons.

But what about commercial parking operations, business complexes, high rise operations, municipal parking garages and on street parking? Anyone out there want to comment on that part of the parking business, which by the way, is the majority of our business.


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3 Responses to Oh Please — “Yes, Uber is Really Killing the Parking Business”

  1. rta says:

    According to a recent article in Forbes the combined impact of Uber, Lyft and other services is that they account for about 1/2 of 1% of miles driven in the US. There are certainly some markets where they have had an impact, but overall you’d have a hard time claiming this was going to lead to the demise of the parking industry.

    You also have to figure that at some point investors are going to stop subsidizing the operations, and if they don’t start turning a profit then they’ll have to price their product based on the actual cost of providing the services. Right now Uber is the “Free” parking version of the ride hailing business, the revenues they are generating come nowhere close to covering the costs.

  2. GSG says:

    Regardless… Parking operations will progressively be impacted — first with alternatives like Uber and Lyft, and eventually with autonomous vehicles. It’s inevitable — especially in large cities where parking is ridiculously expensive. If the parking industry doesn’t plan accordingly, it will do so at its own peril.

  3. rta says:

    Telecommuting, on-line transactions (banking, court and legal filings, shopping, etc.) and the ever expanding number of home delivery options are what I see as the biggest, most immediate disruptions to the parking industry.

    We have several large employers here that give the majority of their employees the option of working from home one day a week, and the impact that has had on traffic volume both Monday and Friday is significant. Used to be that hourly parking on the 3rd, 15th and 30th of every month spiked due to the number of people going to the bank, but there is no longer any measurable impact at all from those dates. The local Clerk of the Courts Office has reported a drop of almost 40% in the number of daily transactions taking place in their office on a daily basis, all because of the shifting of more and more processes to on-line.

    The flip side of that is that the last 4 new tenants that have moved in have come at a density of 6 per 1000 sq ft, versus the previous tenants that were at 2-3 per 1000. The trend (at least in this market) is companies are downsizing space and increasing density, so that’s actually increasing the parking demand.

    The way I see it is that every market trend has an impact on the parking industry one way or the other. This industry has never been stagnant, and has always seemed to be evolving. Anyone that hasn’t been able to adjust has fallen by the wayside, and you are 100% correct in your assessment that any who fail to do so as things continue to evolve will suffer that same fate.

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