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Stress and Uncertainty of Finding Parking

Researchers have determined that Uber and Lyft have reduced the number of people driving in the central city and therefore parking activity is on the wane. Guess what.

“We found that the stress of the uncertainty of finding a parking spot downtown was enough to discourage people from driving themselves and made them willing to pay more to avoid it.”

Bold letters are mine. You can read the entire article on Parknews.biz.

In my last blog I commented on the way our industry uses platitudes to discuss the issues that affect parking. We are spending big bucks to ask PricewaterhouseCooper to tell us what is going to happen to the parking industry in 20 or 30 years. Fair enough. But what are we actually recommending that the industry does TODAY.

I hear complaints that the numbers are down. If so, what to do?

Read the bold print above. The Stress and Uncertainty of finding a parking spot downtown are moving people to spend more to take Uber/Lyft. OK – what can we do about that stress and uncertainty.  We are causing the stress and uncertainty. Shouldn’t we be able to fix it? Note the words “Willing to pay more.”

At PIE this year there were dozens of companies that promoted the concept of removing the uncertainty of finding parking. There were dozens of companies that make it easier to park using high tech ways to get folks into the garage and into their space. There were dozens of companies that provided lighting that would reduce costs and make the garages more inviting.

We need to fix this stress and uncertainty problem now. Its fine to be concerned about the ‘future.’ But in the meantime, why not address our current problems with real-world high-end marketing solutions.

  • Make it easy for folks to enter, pay, and leave your garage.
  • Make your garage attractive to them. A little paint and elbow grease can do wonders. Replacing your lighting can actually save your money.
  • Promote your parking city wide to let people know you are there and can find you.
  • Run promotions and affinity programs.
  • If reservations help, get on board now.
  • Make it so they can park, find a space, pay and leave any of a number of ways. One size doesn’t fit all.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend money to make money.
  • Work with clubs, venues, restaurants and the like to make parking seamless and fast. There is no reason you should wait 15 minutes to get your car.
  • Do you have shuttles from your garage to the local hot spots. Jitney service would be very attractive. Band together to provide this service.

I came up with these suggestions in five minutes.  You could probably come up with 20 more that better fit into your wheelhouse. Be creative, and if you are not, hire someone who is.

The days of opening your garage and expecting it to fill by 9 am are gone. But you can still fill it if you really want to adjust. The Parking Industry is in a box. Its time to get out of it. Not sometime 20 years from now but today.

JVH

 

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