We released the first edition of our Parking Talks this week. Focused on mobile parking, we heard from several of our Parking Network members, including Adam Warnes, Passport’s Vice President of UK Operations. Read on, to discover his thoughts about the role mobile apps have to play in parking, and the ways in which they are likely to evolve.
Why Do You Feel Mobile Apps Are A Major Medium In Parking?
Adam Warnes, "Today, virtually everybody in the UK has a smartphone and people are increasingly using them to pay for things on the move, including parking. In fact, we have seen a huge growth in the adoption of mobile apps for parking payment, which has been driven by two things: ease of use for the consumer and cost efficiency for the municipality.
"Firstly, for a consumer parking on-street, using a mobile to pay for parking is so much easier and quicker than traditional payment methods, where they have to get out of the car, walk to a parking meter, put coins in a meter, and then return to the car with a ticket to display. Smartphones can even extend parking for a consumer, without them having to return to their car.
"Equally, for the city authority, mobile parking apps are a much cheaper way of offering their on-street parking because no significant hardware investment is required; parking machines do not need to be installed, maintained, or regularly emptied of money.
"But the big win for us is how we can better understand customer trends. All of the customers who transact through a mobile app have a unique identifier, and this helps us get a picture of where they park and how often they park, allowing us to offer a much better service for them."
How Do You Think Mobile Parking Will Evolve?
"At Passport, we see parking apps and the whole mobile parking market developing in a couple of ways. Firstly, if you take the UK market for parking apps as an example, it is a pretty fragmented picture, as different authorities have gone into contract with different suppliers. This can create a frustrating experience for the consumer as they may need a number of different applications to pay for parking from one city to another.
"What we are expecting to see, is more local authorities and councils working together on a joined-up approach, to allow multiple apps to sell parking estate on their streets. From a consumer point of view, this means that instead of needing several different apps, they will be able to park in more locations with the app of their choice.
"We also expect to see a change in the needs of curbside use. The curbside is no longer just about traditional on-street parking, instead, we are seeing huge growth in alternative methods of transport, whether that is car-sharing, ride-hailing, or more sustainable forms of transport such as dockless bicycles. Currently, all of these place different demands on curbside space and require different methods of payment. But at Passport we see mobile applications becoming a lot more multi-modal and allowing transactions, not just for traditional car parking, but for all these new and emerging forms of transport."
What Will Be Your Focus This Year?
"For us here at Passport, there are a number of key focuses over the next 12 months. I think firstly for us it is about opening up the landscape on the street to allow multiple applications to sell the same space. We really do think that that will be a massive improvement for the consumer and the local authority as the consumer will be given more choice and local authorities will be able to collect data more efficiently and effectively, helping them to better manage their curbside.
"We will also be focusing on the next generation of mobile payment. In the UK, mobile payment has been around for the past 12 to 13 years, and whilst we are seeing changes in technology, these haven’t moved into the parking world at such a rapid pace. We expect to see a lot more in-car payments over the next 12 months, whether that’s through retrofitted devices, or within the dashboard of cars coming off the production line. Our focus is about being able to facilitate parking through those devices so that it becomes even easier for the consumer.
"We are also looking beyond the parking space, to mobility as a whole. We have invested very heavily in a platform which allows local authorities to track not only the use of private cars and parking, but also effectively bring in data from a whole wealth of other sources, whether that be bikes, ride-shares, car shares, EV charging or freight usage. It's about bringing all those data sources together in a platform that allows cities and local authorities to make much smarter decisions about what they want to do. These are the main focuses, here at Passport."
We would like to thank Adam Warnes and Passport for their contribution to our first Parking Talks. To find out more about mobile parking you can watch the full discussion, featuring ZipBy’s Greg Parzych and FlashParking’s Juan Rodriguez:
Passport is transforming mobility management for cities, empowering them to create more livable and equitable communities. Passport’s mobility platform enables clients to digitally coordinate all modes of transportation and implement real-time, data-centric management of their curbside and streetspace through its enterprise software. Trusted by nearly 600 cities, universities and agencies, including Chicago, Toronto, London, Los Angeles, and Miami, Passport is one of the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 500 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists. Passport is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital, and Relevance Capital. For more information, visit passportinc.com.