With January behind us and predictions for 2021 trends made we asked our Parking Network Business Members what they were prioritizing in the year ahead. Their plans, ambitions, and optimistic outlook were a welcome tonic to the doom and gloom of coronavirus and gave us a much-needed glimmer of hope that the parking industry is set to bounce back, and soon. February’s headlines also gave us reason to be optimistic with companies preparing for Covid-recovery and adapting their operations to meet new trends and demands.
Need some inspiration to kickstart your plans for 2021? Watch the full Quick Question video and read on for the highlights from February.
Covid Recovery Plans
Figures vary, but the general consensus seems to be that during the severest Covid-19 lockdowns parking occupancy levels were down 65%-70% on pre-Covid levels. Whilst restrictions continue in many countries, others are beginning to return to some levels of normality, and vaccination programs are providing light at the end of the tunnel.
Many municipalities are busy preparing Covid-recovery plans with an emphasis on enticing people back to city centers to work, shop, and dine. With trust in public transport low, parking solution and service providers are presented with a huge opportunity to capitalize on, especially in the areas of parking guidance and contactless payment solutions.
In Lübeck Bay, Germany, the local tourism agency has been preparing for a surge in domestic tourism by working with Cleverciti to monitor parking occupancy along the coast. Parking occupancy is communicated to tourists through various websites, helping to steer visitor traffic flow.
Meanwhile, Cleverciti’s comprehensive parking guidance and wayfinding system is also helping to accelerate recovery in Redwood City. The deployment of their smart parking system will ensure shoppers and commuters have seamless a return to the district and help drive parking revenues.
And, cities throughout the state of Florida are turning to Passport to streamline parking and generate revenue through accessible, touchless payment options. In the City of Augustine, from the time of launch of the Passport Parking app to 2020, amid the pandemic, the municipality saw an 84% increase in revenue.
Adapting to Changing Customer Behavior
Covid-recovery strategies rely on successfully adapting parking operations to meet the changing demands of drivers. Touchless parking is a trend that has grown significantly during the pandemic, but plenty more changes are being driven by consumer behavior.
If the pandemic has taught the parking industry anything, it is the need to diversify the offering, so that if parking occupancy plummets other revenue streams are available to operators. We’ve heard plenty about mobility hubs, with their offerings of last-mile solutions and additional conveniences such as delivery lockers and click & collect points.
But APCOA, with their new initiative, APCOA URBAN HUBS, are taking the concept a little further with the addition of a logistics element. Such an addition further integrates parking assets into the urban infrastructure and opens up another revenue stream that can weather periods of low parking. Parking may have plummeted during the pandemic, but deliveries have sky-rocketed!
Joining Forces and Transitioning to In-Car
There certainly have been a lot of acquisitions during recent months, and February was no exception. TIBA Parking Systems acquired their long-time reseller partner, Associated Time Instruments. And Flash have acquired Automated Parking Technologies, in a move set to transform parking assets into future-ready mobility hubs in Chicago, Racine, and Evanston.
Acquisitions aside, there have been some exciting partnerships and collaborations in February. With several companies teaming up with tech giants and automotive multinationals. Parkopedia has extended a global partnership with BMW Group to bring in-car parking data and payments to the entire BMW range across China.
Also jumping aboard the in-car trend, EasyPark has become the first parking app to enable on-street parking through Apple CarPlay. Now drivers will be able to find and pay for parking and EV charging through the car dashboard in over 2,200 cities across 20 countries worldwide.
And, both ParkMobile and Passport have expanded their integration with Google Maps to enable Google Pay users to access and easily pay for parking managed by Passport and ParkMobile across the United States, without downloading their respective apps.