When it comes to parking enforcement and which pay station solution is the best fit for your parking program, we wouldn’t go so far as to say “the world is your oyster,” but there are certainly a number of solutions to consider for your operation. Assuming you’re currently evaluating the pay station solutions out there in favor of a transition to one of these options, let’s first explore, or refresh your understanding of, three basic modes for pay station operations at your fingertips. Each option has its advantages and drawbacks.
1. Pay and Display
Parking stalls may or may not be delineated. After parking their vehicle, the motorist pays for the transaction at the pay station and is issued a time stamped receipt slip. The motorist then returns to their vehicle to place the time stamped receipt in a visible location, typically on the dashboard. Enforcement is performed by visually inspecting the time stamped receipts.
2. Pay by Space
Parking stalls are delineated and individually numbered through ground and/or curbside markings. In some locations where snowfalls are prevalent, signs mounted on poles (or overhead cabling on surface lots) are utilized. After parking the vehicle, the motorist enters the corresponding space number at the pay station to identify the vehicle’s location and proceeds to pay for the transaction. Enforcement can be performed through direct query of the pay station (paid/unpaid stall reports), wirelessly through a handheld or similar device that has back office integration and where these same reports are generated, or the device communicates directly with the pay station.
3. Pay by Plate
Parking stalls may or may not be delineated. After parking their vehicle, the motorist is required to enter their license plate information at the pay station in order to pay for the transaction. Enforcement can be performed through direct query of the pay stations paid/expired plate reports) or wirelessly through a handheld or similar device with back office integration where these same reports are generated or in some cases, communicates directly with the pay station.
So, what are the benefits versus shortcomings of each of these options as they relate to your bottom line, you might ask? Here’s a simple, handy table to sort through that very question.
The aforementioned information gives you data points to distinguish the types of pay station solutions and compare and contrast the revenue merits of each.
Recognizing that parking is up there on your list of revenue sources, it’s important to call out that any of these options support a move towards realizing increased revenues, use of new technology, and efficiency upgrades for your parking operations when compared to traditional meter models. Below, find some examples of municipalities that made the shift towards these new age parking enforcement system options. Given the revenue bumps they’re realizing, it’s clear that they aren’t looking back!