Meter Feeder – How Technology is Infiltrating Cities with Customer Centric Parking Solutions By Rubaiya Amin
How Technology is Infiltrating Cities with Customer Centric Parking Solutions
By Rubaiya Amin
Whether we live in a big city or we visit one on occasion, we have all experienced the pains of city parking. Experiencing city traffic, finding a legitimate spot, and then trying to fish out the credit card or quarters to pay, feels like a rite of passage. Aside from parking availability parking rates for a measly hour can feel like a tuition payment, i.e. if you don’t get a ticket by the time of your return.
Holding onto antiquated meters is a thing of the past. Millennials are taking over and they barely have time to look away from the screens that hold them together, literally think Snapchat. Moreover, some of the technology are easy to use, cost-effective and do not need expensive infrastructure in place. What do cities have to lose?
Fortunately, technology is making city parking simpler for everyone, including the person doing the parking. Some of the cutting-edge customer solutions are evolving with the customer in mind; whether it is the city or the driver. Here are some examples of how things are changing.
Better Technology Benefits All
As parking innovations are increasingly becoming a trend for cities, so are parking enforcement technology. Cities are installing tech-advanced payment stations, kiosks, even offering mobile apps for parking payments. In addition, they are using metrics, analytics, cameras and other intuitive technology to catch up to parking hot spots and non-paying customers.
In recent years, more people are fighting their parking tickets in court than ever before. Judges have been overwhelmed with pleas of “not guilty”, and they have started to ask for newer, better technologies that can provide only the facts. Cities are complying and incorporating photos for violations. Some cameras and sensors in assigned locations also provide additional information to city officials. This is designed to reduce the number of parking tickets that are written erroneously and the number of people who fight valid tickets in court.
On demand and real-time pricing for parking is also something cities are looking to adopt. Look at Boston; since parking is not so available the city is using parking rate hikes in peak times to push people to move their cars. Unless of course, you want to give up your Starbucks budget and move it into a flexible spending account for parking only. But these initiatives and programs are designed to help the congestion and cruising that contributes to presumably 30 percent of city congestion, pollution, etc.
There’s an App for That
Sometimes, it’s not about assigning more people to keep an eye on the meters. In some cases, it’s about improving the meters themselves. For example, back in March, the city of Knoxville, Tennessee installed high-tech meters that accept credit cards as well as traditional coin payments. These meters are connected to the internet, which means the city can send residents messages directly to digital screens. Most are solar-powered, so residents don’t have to worry about paying higher taxes to cover energy costs.
Drivers have also found refuge in using mobile apps for parking rather than paying with quarters or credit cards. As mentioned earlier, when the weather is not on your side, it can prove challenging to pay at designated pay stations or walk over to one for a zone number. Instead I use an app to pay for parking — same technology to pay with a credit card but less hassle and from the comfort of my car and they send notifications to extend parking. Even mid-size cities and municipalities are getting on board.
Location! Location! Location!
How often have you driven around an unfamiliar city looking for a place to park? Even if you’ve only done it a couple of times, you understand how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, GPS technology continues to improve and parking apps, e.g. MeterFeeder™ uses it to find accurate location for parking as soon as you turn it on. Say no to the finding zones or pay stations! All smartphones have built-in GPS so don’t forget to use it. This comes in handy when trying to maneuver around a city, especially downtown. Download the app and save your sanity!
Sensing the Tech in You
In today’s Internet of Things, we are finding new and improved ways of doing everything. That’s certainly evident in the parking world. Parking spots and lanes are using sensors that can tell what time and how long a vehicle parked there, sensors on parking meters monitor occupancy, there are sensors in placards for the handicapped, for employees, for students, and for any other kind of reserved parking management. The sensors use alternative energy sources, which means that city officials won’t have to spend their precious time maintaining them.
There are ways in which smart technology is changing the way we drive and obviously, park. Drivers have options and with time, and as more cities incorporate new technology, parking is going to be a fully automated service. There is always hope to have that great experience when visiting the city.
About Meter Feeder, Inc.
Meter Feeder, Inc. offers a cutting-edge comprehensive technology platform for parking enforcement and mobile parking payment. Our products define our business model and exemplifies our simple but effective platform, offering cities and municipalities the right tools to increase parking revenue.
MeterFeeder’s complete package consists of enforcement software and devices, an administrative citation management system, and a mobile payment app for patrons.
Visit our website www.meterfeeder.com or contact sales at 1-844-463-7275 X 704 to learn more about our services.