How can parking be made “green”? No, we’re not talking about making sure that you find a good spot in the shade, so the car won’t be hot when you come back – we mean finding an effective parking system and solutions than can help improve the environment.
When most people use the word “green,” they usually mean conserving natural resources, reducing waste and cleaning up the environment. There’s another aspect to thinking green, however: improving the quality of life.
Improving quality of life – parking better, living better
In modern urban areas – not just large cities, but medium-sized towns as well – one of the great challenges of everyday life is traffic congestion. Not only are the highways into the cities often clogged with commuter traffic, but in town the sheer number of vehicles makes driving – and parking! – a source of stress and frustration. Unfortunately, traffic is part of a city’s lifeblood: workers, visitors, tourists, and shoppers need to get into town and get around from place to place, and they absolutely need to find a place to park.
There are two approaches to help achieve these goals and develop a great traffic congestion management system. First, increase the use of public transportation into the city by improving park-and-ride services; second, help ensure that the traffic flow of those private vehicles that do come into the city is made more efficient and pleasant.
We work closely with our clients – public transport and transportation agencies – to make the use of public transportation into and around a city more attractive to citizens. In order to make a park-and-ride system for commuters and visitors as effective as possible, these agencies need to ensure that parking and fare compliance are enforced. This helps to minimize the impact of those few people who abuse the system, whose actions can impact fare rates, quality of service and overall passenger service. The Android-based fare compliance and parking solution developed by gtechna allows enforcement officers to move beyond manual systems, which require copious amounts of data entry and paperwork. Instead, our fully automated and integrated system helps to make enforcement more efficient and effective, so that the public transportation systems operate smoothly and reliably – making the commuting experience more enjoyable for the public.
An effective parking system increases vehicle turnover
For those who choose to drive their own vehicles into town, gtechna’s effective parking system increases turnover, making it easier to find parking locations and more convenient to pay public parking fees, and thus aiding in traffic congestion management.
Again, gtechna’s Android-based parking solutions allow parking authorities to become more efficient. We provide a unified set of solutions that integrate parking technologies tied to vehicles’ license plates (pay by plate) as a unique identifier, allowing fast, efficient and accurate parking enforcement with virtually zero human and machine error. Using Android phones onto which gtechna-developed Officer™ software has been installed, patrols can scan or type in the license plate numbers of parked vehicles to determine if any are in violation. If so, the patrol can either instantly issue a citation (that is electronically delivered to the Command Center central data hub for processing) or contact another patrol for enforcement.
Since the license plate is used as the key identifier for vehicles, Officer™ allows patrols to work across a range of parking systems using the Command Center hub as the central database. Time-stamp logs can be used in parking zones that limit parking duration, while the status of vehicles in permit-only zones can be immediately determined with a quick look-up. Kiosk-based or pay-by-phone parking credentials are integrated with the same database as well to track that information. In addition, changes in parking regulations, such as seasonal or special events, can be accommodated. This integrated, automated system makes parking enforcement much more efficient: Patrols can cover wider areas in a timely fashion, maintaining the availability of legal parking.
Increase parking compliance up to 99% with these fail safes
To increase parking compliance, even as high as 99%, our team has come up with a few mechanisms to “foresee the unforeseen.” This means giving parkers every opportunity to pay their license plate parking fees – even at the last second – before a ticket is issued. Our built-in redundancy protocols allow for error correction and background ticket auto-voids, and we also have a system for targeted geo-fencing, using “KeepAlive” protocols, for pay stations during “no communication” events. As we all know, no technology is perfect, but we implement fail-safes to remove, as far as possible, frustration from the parking experience.
The results can make all the difference to drivers in an urban area. More efficient parking enforcement and effective parking systems should increase the rate of compliance, which, in turn, makes parking spaces more readily available to all. Shoppers and other visitors will be able to more easily find parking, and “cruising” for spaces can be reduced. The extremely low error rate associated with Officer™ will also buoy the public perception of the fairness of parking regulations and enforcement.
Making smart decisions about your new parking solution could translate to a better quality of life for your citizens.
As cities’ populations – and population densities – increase, it is important that planners and agencies continue to try to make urban life not just bearable but enjoyable. Reducing traffic congestion and managing parking are two pieces of the puzzle that can help improve the quality of city life and living.
Curious about Pay by Plate but need to dive a bit deeper into the technology? Download our Pay by Plate 101 ebook.