Tag Archives for: COVID-19

Walker Consultants: Opportunity During Disruption – Developing Strategies to Manage and Your Parking Assets in Unique Times

May 19, 2020





Opportunity During Disruption – Developing Strategies to Manage and Your Parking Assets in Unique Times



         by Thomas Szubka, CAPP, CPP, Senior Consultant, Walker Consultants



Abstract background of blurred cars in front of dealership place, blurred background


There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a disruption to the Parking, Transportation, and Mobility Industry.  It seems the main questions, apparent in virtually all industries, center around how long this disruption will last and how long the recovery will take.  How will social distancing affect transit?  Will there be more cars on the road, or will remote work finally be a widely accepted practice? Will we change, long term, how we physically interact with one another and our surroundings?

Often, it takes a disruption to advance a technology or business practice. Usually, that disruption is caused by design, however, what we are now experiencing is a disruption by circumstance.

When disruption is circumstantial, there is a sense of helplessness. COVID-19 is not making our business practices better, nor is it introducing a new or improved technology. As this disruption is not actively improving our business, these circumstances are creating obstacles instead.  How we react to these obstacles will determine if there is a way to benefit from these unfortunate circumstances and find a silver lining in the COVID-19 cloud.

Start by focusing on what you can control. Take charge of how you move forward by initiating a plan to recover or improve.  You may not know where all this is going but it is a great time to get back to the basics and take the opportunity to have a thorough look at your business, as it is beneficial to have a solid foundation from which to base your strategies and plans going forward.

Consider why now may be an opportune time to initiate operational and financial audits; technology reviews and upgrade planning; and operational projects and planning that will benefit your business going forward.

Reduction in demand provides opportunity for access.

Take advantage of the opportunity that reduced demand affords. Sure, we would all rather be busy and maximizing the collection of revenues and providing outstanding services, however, this is the time to plan and prepare for when these circumstances change.

Work on projects for which you have not had time to invest. Structural reviews are far easier to conduct when facilities are not at capacity and are often put on the back burner during good times.  Along the same line, repairs and improvements are also easier to execute when the there are fewer customers to inconvenience. The added benefit is providing a refreshed facility to welcome customers back.

Reduction in revenue activities will likely provide added time to conduct operational and financial audits or explore improvements in technology upgrades. Both will encourage you to look at your operations more closely and provide outcomes that will allow you to be more efficient in your business efforts when the circumstances finally do change.


Financial and operational audits are a great practice at any time and the best organizations conduct these regularly.  As a result of having too much time, or a desperate need to optimize revenue and operations, conducting audits may be as important as ever. Start by focusing on:

  • Cleaning up contract parking accounts and understanding the demand.
  • Review past transactional data, reports, and banking information to validate results.
  • Evaluate revenue collection procedures and contemplate if collecting cash is worth the cost going forward.
  • Reexamine traffic flow and lane geometries to determine the viability of certain technologies (LPR, APGS, etc.)
  • Assess staffing levels and payroll costs to determine the optimal staffing levels.
  • Acknowledge potential customer interaction points and develop alternatives to the potentially changing customer experience.

Performing audits now, while there are departures from normal business operations, will allow you to be more efficient and provide an uneventful environment in which to address the findings.

Technology can help.

Conducting an operational audit and setting upon an improvement plan, will help you to determine the best technology solutions to fit your business needs. Often, efficiencies in operations can be realized with the proper selection and use of technology that will justify the investment.

Frictionless parking, pay by app, virtual permits and enforcement, and advanced hardware are established technologies and improve upon the potential need to reduce physical interaction with hardware.

For example, frictionless parking can have several variations, but the most important tenet is facilitating the entry and exit of a vehicle with little to no stop in movement.  An operational audit will determine:

  • If your facility has the proper lane geometries conducive to LPR, or if an AVI solution is more appropriate.
  • Ability for your operations to go ticketless.
  • Capability of using barcode on a phone app to add value to the customer interaction
  • Traffic management external to the facility that may affect movement.
  • Queuing conditions for entry and exit, and where improvements can be achieved.

There are plenty of options, but the effort will be more productive if you have a specific plan developed from an audit for which to base the technology upgrades upon.

Potential for automation will help address opportunities for efficiency, reduce physical interaction points, and promote customer and employee safety. Employees can shift to a more ambassadorial role that can be performed with proper physical distancing or from remote workstations with the aid of virtual communication solutions.


Data will also be more important than ever. Given the uncertainty in how the parking and transportation industry will recover, operators will need to be diligent at monitoring data to ensure operations can handle changes in volume, time of day peaks, and be able to react to provide alternatives or incentives as behaviors and data evolve  The only way to get the correct data, is to have the proper technology in place.

Barriers have shifted.

The pandemic had created several new issues and those new issues may now be the primary focus in favor of past objections to attempted advancements. Whether political, funding, or consumer fueled objections to changes existed, they can likely have an easier time being overcome if it helps address an issue requiring resolution today.

A good example is how curbside management has changed in many municipalities. Offering curb spaces to facilitate deliveries and pick-ups have been concerns in the past with the value of the curb being so high. With recent circumstances, many downtowns have retracted from on-street payments or have relaxed enforcement.  It is now easier (financially and politically) to designate curb space to help support the local businesses. When this is over, will these solutions simply disappear, or will they be integrated into normal business practice?  When revenues for curb space come back into play, how will these solutions be monetized?

How these solutions are expressed will make a difference, so consider several ways from which to approach:

            Customer Safety

Now is a time in which the welfare of the consumer and the employee is vital.  Going virtual or reducing physical interaction with hardware is an advantage to promoting public and employee safety. This will certainly aid in the promotion of certain technology upgrades for which you may have previously experienced resistance.

            Labor Efficiency

Many organizations in our industries have had to furlough employees with the intent to hire everyone back once normalcy is achieved. If getting back to normal takes too long, there is a real risk that those valuable employees will have found work elsewhere and may not be available.  Now would be the time to analyze and plan how automation and streamlining business practices can promote a more efficient organization.

            Business Efficiency

Is your business prepared, or better prepared for the possibility of experiencing similar circumstances again? Are you able to act on those lessons learned and do you have the right data to analyze pain points and where to aim primary focus going forward?  Do you have the most streamlined business model to take advantage of opportunities when they present, or reduce risk when unfortunate circumstances avail? Operational and technology audits with due diligence on improvements during a time like this will pay dividends in your recovery efforts and moving your revenue and operations forward.

            Operational Changes

An operational and technology audit can help you understand where your business stands and if your current operation and technology can support what will be the new normal. Consider how curbside deliveries and pick-ups have been implemented to support local establishments. Will these go away once normal curb management returns, or can you find a way to keep some of the valuable solutions in place


By showing that thought has been given to customer and employee safety, and improved working conditions, the organization will benefit and engender loyalty from these efforts. Consumers and employees may be willing to sacrifice habitual behaviors if they can appreciate that changes are being made for the sake of safety and well-being.

Engage the pros.

Professional assistance in audits and evaluations; developing strategies; and creating specifications for solutions can be advantageous in maximizing the efficiency of your efforts and provide guidance during these overwhelming times.


There are many consultants, technology and operations representatives, and peers that are eager to help. As we have found in the past several weeks, there is no shortage of parking professionals willing and able to share their challenges and successes for the collective good. This is the winning advantage that our industry is taking to prevent disruption and create favorable opportunities.

About the Author

Thomas G. Szubka, CAPP, CPP is a Parking and Mobility Professional with executive experience and over 18 years in the Parking & Mobility Industry. His experience includes private operations, municipal operations and most recently as a technology solutions provider in both sales and operations. Tom is a Senior Consultant with Walker Consultants and can be reached at TSzubka@walkerconsultants.com or 813.437.2198.

Penn Parking Develops More than 3,000 Face Shields for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers

May 08, 2020




Penn Parking Develops More than 3,000 Face Shields for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers



Penn Parking, a Maryland-based parking management company, recently wrapped up the Herculean effort of handcrafting 3,300 PPE face shields for healthcare workers throughout Maryland, Virginia and DC area. The shields are to assist in the fight against COVID-19. Penn Parking leadership, staff and friends worked together to create these vital personal protective equipment resources and donate them to those on the front lines.

Penn Parking delivered the shields to numerous area hospitals and nursing homes. This important project dramatically exceeded the initial goal of 1,000 shields.

Penn Parking CEO Lisa Renshaw stated, “We are on a mission to get our health care workers and first responders the vital equipment they need to keep them and the public safe. We all need to pull together in this crisis.” Lisa went on to challenge every business that is in the position to do so, to please find a way to help in the effort to “slow the spread”

About Penn Parking

Penn Parking is the Only women owned parking management company in US history. She started it by living in her first garage for 3 ½ years. Today Penn Parking manages over 50 facilities in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area. Penn Parking offers a wide range of parking management and consulting services and has provided tailored and budget-friendly parking solutions for over 35 years. For more, visit www.pennparking.com.


Lisa Renshaw
Penn Parking

PayByPhone Joins World Central Kitchen #ChefsForAmerica to Fuel Those in Need

April 23, 2020


PayByPhone Joins World Central Kitchen #ChefsForAmerica to Fuel Those in Need

Parking App Collects Donations to Support Communities and Restaurants Impacted by COVID-19




VANCOUVER, April 23, 2020  – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, PayByPhone, a leading global provider of mobile parking payment solutions, today announced it will partner with World Central Kitchen to help support the non-profit’s COVID-19 initiative. The #ChefsForAmerica effort is now serving 100,000 meals every day across the United States.

Founded by Chef José Andrés and his wife Patricia nearly a decade ago, World Central Kitchen and its partners are working to safely distribute individually packaged fresh meals in communities across the nation that need support. The effort enables children and families to pick up and take-home meals and includes delivering food to seniors who cannot venture outside.

The endeavor also includes putting restaurants – that otherwise might be temporarily closed or restricted to pickup orders – back in business through a coalition of restaurants and tech companies working to feed the hungry.

“Other than helping American families in need, it’s a blessing to join forces with other corporations across the country to deliver fresh, hot meals to feed frontline healthcare workers in hospitals and clinics so critical in this time,” said Erich Broksas, chief strategy officer, World Health Kitchen. “The outpouring of help from such a wide variety of partners like PayByPhone has been nothing short of amazing.”

PayByPhone is using its parking platform to collect donations across the United States to bolster the #ChefsForAmerica effort. PayByPhone users in Miami, San Francisco, Seattleand Washington, D.C. can log into the app and donate by using designated parking zone number 19. To stretch each donation, PayByPhone will match a portion of user donations through its app to the #ChefsForAmerica initiative. Please note, donors will not receive tax receipts for contributions made to World Central Kitchen.

“We want to do our part to help the communities we serve weather this storm,” said North American CEO Roamy Valera. “Our customers are looking for ways to help too, and this partnership lets them contribute in an easy way. Making a meaningful impact can happen right in the palm of your hands.”

For more information visit, paybyphone.com/parkitforward.

About PayByPhone

PayByPhone is one of the fastest growing mobile payment companies in the world, processing over 125 million transactions annually, totaling more than $550 million USD in payments. Through the company’s mobile web, smartphone and smartwatch applications, PayByPhone helps millions of consumers easily and securely pay for parking without the hassles of waiting in line, having to carry change or risking costly fines. A subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, PayByPhone is leading the way in the creation of the mobile future.

Advanced Parking Concepts (APC) Residential Food Delivery Assistance Program continues

April 21, 2020


Advanced Parking Concepts (APC) Residential Food Delivery Assistance Program continues



Advanced Parking Concepts (APC) Residential Food Delivery Assistance Program continues to roll. During this Covid-19 pandemic, APC’s dedicated staff is committed to keeping our clients safe.



A special shout out to Tom Carter of the Toledo Ticket Company and John Van Horn of the Parking Today Magazine, for repurposing & donating 1000 premium shopping bags to our effort.


Is COVID-19 the Tipping Point for Contactless Payments?

April 03, 2020



Is COVID-19 the Tipping Point for Contactless Payments?


by Michael Back, HonkMobile




Contactless infrastructure has been in place for years but consumer behaviour hasn’t yet embraced this technology at a large scale. Are the tides about to change?


The climate around coronavirus has drawn particularly close attention to the safety and cleanliness associated with both cash and the high-touch payment technology that we use everyday – from ATM’s to parking pay stations to retail pin pads to name but a few. These simple conveniences of modern day life will need to be re-examined in a post COVID-19 world.


Let’s take a closer look…


Bills typically stay in circulation between 5 to 15 years and are the perfect environment for microbes to settle. The dirtiness of banknotes is far from a new phenomenon – in a 2014 study (the Dirty Money Project), biology professor Jane Carlton found that US bills carried more than 3,000 types of bacteria. A separate US Air Force study found that 94% of banknotes collected in Ohio were infected with pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus.


While health and safety around cash-handling isn’t new, government bodies’ hypersensitivity towards cash-handling and the strong measures they are taking to alleviate the possibility of banknotes transmitting the coronavirus certainly is. Some examples: China is disinfecting and locking away used banknotes, while the Bank of Korea is heating banknotes, and in some cases, burning the bills. In addition, the Bank of Korea will no longer handle the exchange of coins and banknotes that have been introduced from abroad.


Another powerful recommendation to move away from cash comes from the World Health Organization, which has urged the population to avoid cash and to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of the transmission ofCOVID-19.


Banks worldwide are also taking measures amidst the COVID-19 outbreak that have a direct impact on consumer purchasing behaviour. Dutch banks are raising contactless limits as one measure to deter the spread of COVID-19 – the limit for contactless payments was previously €50 EUR, and has now been raised to €100 EUR. Another example is the UK, where the spending limit will rise from £30 GBP to £45 GBP in a national roll-out.


While governments and banks are now looking at cash handling differently, so too are consumers. “Sensitivity to catching the Coronavirus is now showing up at point of sale,” said Richard Crone, Principal at Crone Consulting, LLC. One study of US consumers before and after the Coronavirus epidemic is very telling, translating to a growing need for, and embrace of, contactless payments: “About 38% of consumers now see contactless as a basic need or feature of payments, up from 30% a year ago.”


While the current coronavirus outbreak won’t last forever, it is perfectly plausible to expect that many of the new habits formed during this time will. As such, it’s safe to assume the hypersensitivity to touching cash and avoidance of high-touch areas will have a lasting impact on consumer habits going forward. The good news is that the answer is, and has always been, in the palm of our hands.

LocoMobi World Introduces Special No-Cost Relief Program During COVID-19 

March 24, 2020

LocoMobi World Introduces Special No-Cost
Relief Program During COVID-19    

Maintain physical distancing safely, securely & conveniently
for buildings with Friction-Free Parking



Install now and receive 6 months free – No capital investment required!



Toronto, Ont. – In these unprecedented times, LocoMobi World believes it is important that companies and individuals pull together and do their part to help protect our communities. With physical distancing being initiated by all levels of government and many private organizations, there is an immediate need to support this policy. With this in mind, LocoMobi World has devised a plan using our seamless and frictionless parking solutions to assist with physical distancing.

As early as today, the government has released new guidelines and initiatives to combat COVID-19. LocoMobi World has joined these programs so that we can offer relief to all buildings and parking facilities from any physical contact. These new guidelines will continue to shape future government policy forever.

Through our offering of CondoPark-Lite, essential visitors and services will have access without the need for any physical interaction while at the same time providing the utmost security. Although these guidelines were issued weeks ago, the government is now becoming more proactive in ensuring they are followed. LocoMobi World is proud to be in the position to offer this relief package for those who realize this is not just a need today but also for the future.

“There is no doubt this current pandemic will do three things: change future companies’ business models, change government initiatives going forward, and change consumers’ demand for better security and clean interaction as we move forward,” says Grant Furlane, CEO LocoMobi World. “ It’s important to understand it’s not just about physical access but also tracking that can be used now and in the future. That is the true solution to the new reality. I, as CEO and Founder of the company, personally have provided my full support to those great companies who I know will commit to these initiatives given the fact that we have shown our commitment to this relief program.”

For Inquiries please contact:

Brian Storrie, President, brian@locomobiworld.com, Mobile: 416-846-3807, Office: 416-883-2463

*Note: Certain terms and conditions apply to all offers

About LocoMobi World Inc.

LocoMobi World Inc. is a cloud-based Smart City technology company specializing in parking, tolling, transit, storage, asset tracking, and threat management solutions. LocoMobi World produces and distributes pioneering technology to government, institutional and parking management clients throughout North America and has a growing platform of transportation infrastructure patents. LocoMobi World provides a full line of products including Pay-On-Foot Kiosks, Pay-On-Exit Stations and Barrier Gates for Commercial and Residential Facilities.

LocoMobi’s leading cloud-based License Plate Recognition (LPR) system offers a refined approach for revenue control, virtual permitting, violation and citation management, toll road management, managed traffic lanes, gated lane environments, as well as residential multi-level condominium building parking control and access.

For more information please visit our website at https://locomobiworld.com, office 416.883.2463 or directly with Brian Storrie, President, brian@locomobiworld.com, Mobile: 416-846-3807