The days of fixed staffing schedules and pre-determined enforcement routes are fleeting. As cities, universities, and commercial operators struggle to hire reliable staff (and justify the higher labor costs in their budget), we are seeing a paradigm shift in parking enforcement.
New technology creates the ability to automate violation identification. Parking managers can now see vehicles parked without payment or exceeding time limits in real-time. Instead of coming across these violators on a set route, you can now efficiently direct enforcement officers to vehicles parked in violation with the ability to prioritize enforcement efforts. Why send an officer to issue one citation on a remote street/lot if you know there are six violations on another street/block?
The value of Smart Enforcement is increasing as more and more off-street parking operations are going gateless. Pay-by-plate environments leveraging pay-stations and mobile payment are becoming the norm. Large municipal parking programs are ditching the gates (and the high costs of PARCS) and going “frictionless”. Parking managers can now sit back and monitor dashboards and leverage automated enforcement alerts to direct their enforcement staff. One employee now can enforce what three or four could under a traditional enforcement program.
The Value of Smart Enforcement
Some old schoolers get hung up on change. They say “that’s the way we have always done it, so why would should we change”. The reality is the economics of more efficient and consistent enforcement leveraging data will increase revenues and reduce operational expenses. If you need 1/3 of the staff to issue the same, or more, citations how can you justify not changing? The financial math makes it hard not to make the investment in the technology and move to a Smart Enforcement approach.
What Technology Do You Need for Smart Enforcement?
Most on-street parking programs, and many off-street ones, already have the core technology they need for smart enforcement. If you use smart single space meters, or operate in pay-by-plate mode on multi-space meters, and you are accepting mobile payments you are halfway there. The addition of sensor and computer vision technology will create the data needed to match vehicles parked to a payment source or report that a car has been parked over an hour in a one-hour space. The integration of these technologies in a Smart Enforcement cloud-based management platform provides the engine for your program to make the paradigm shift a reality.
Can’t Afford It...Not True...
The reality is that you can’t afford not to make the investment into Smart Enforcement. The investment cost per space to create a Smart Enforcement program can be as low as $50 per space in an off-street lot/garage, or $150 per space on-street. The reduced operating costs of making the change will easily justify the investment.
Added Value of Managing the Curb
A Smart Enforcement program also delivers the ability to effectively capture data to “smartly” manage the curb. Tough to enforce loading zones now can be managed and justified by real data. Dynamic curb use and dynamic pricing strategies can be created and deployed. Wayfinding can now become a reality using “actual space availability” versus unreliable predictive modeling. And cities can stop spending money on costly parking studies that base policy recommendations on a few days of data. Managers can now have a parking study updated daily at their disposal.
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