The City of Sarasota has once again partnered with the Flowbird Group, the world’s leader in curbside management and urban mobility solutions, to expand the new paid parking system after a successful launch earlier this year. Forty-three (43) CWT Color Touch multi-space kiosks have begun installation along both Main Street and Palm Avenue, two of the busiest streets in Downtown Sarasota.
The Sarasota City Commission voted to move toward a paid parking strategy in 2016 that recommended adding parking meters downtown. The strategy put forth the goal to improve circulation in prime spots in front of businesses and decrease traffic congestion associated with drivers circulating to find a space. In November of 2018, the City installed 40 of Flowbird’s CWT Color Touch pay-by-plate kiosks along St. Armand’s Circle, a prime shopping and dining district that attracts hundreds of patrons daily. The City is now moving forward with expanding the pay-by-plate system to Sarasota’s downtown business district.
According to Mark Lyons, City of Sarasota Parking Manager, the newest installation of CWT pay-by-plate kiosks will help keep spots open for valuable customers patronizing downtown businesses. By implementing a paid parking system in one of the busiest business districts, customers have the option to pay for the most convenient parking spaces, while also having the option to park for free on side streets or for a lower price in the downtown garages.
“We think what it will do is improve accessibility and turnover in those areas which actually puts more footsteps on the sidewalks and makes it easier for those people who need that close accessibility to find parking spaces,” said Lyons.
The Flowbird CWT Touch kiosks, voted on by the Sarasota community, have a user-friendly design with a clear screen display, descriptive messages and enhanced visibility in sunlight. The kiosks function off of solar-powered panels and feature a large full-color touch screen interface similar to a tablet. Motorists simply type in their license plate number, choose their parking duration, and use a credit card, coins, or the City’s convenient mobile app to pay.
“At this stage of the game, most people get how to use these parking kiosks,” said Lyons. For those that are inquisitive, the city continues an outreach program to educate both business owners and visitors on the new parking system. The program includes distributing informational brochures, videos, social media campaigns, and meetings with downtown merchants.
“We are very pleased to once again partner with the City of Sarasota for this transformative project,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America, “We anticipate an increase in compliance and customer satisfaction now that a smart parking system has been added to the City’s downtown core.”
Flowbird’s CWT kiosks will go live mid-July starting in the Judicial district on Main Street and Ringling Boulevard, spreading across the heart of the city with a phased-in approach.
Currently, Flowbird supports over 40,000 parking pay stations for 600 customers throughout the U.S. This project allows the company to continue its rapid expansion in Southern Florida.
Flowbird is the world market leader in the field of urban mobility and smart city solutions. By offering a unique, all-encompassing range of parking management and public transport ticketing solutions, Flowbird has a presence in close to 80 countries and is successfully accelerating its growth in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Flowbird’s equipment and services are facilitating urban mobility in over 5,000 cities. Flowbird employs a workforce of c.1,300 people worldwide and achieved a turnover of 340 million euros in 2018.