The rise of smart technology in our cities has necessitated widespread evaluation of civic infrastructure. Everything from traffic lights to park maintenance can be improved through the use of technology.
While much of the conversation around smart technology in parking management has focused on sensors and compliance methods, there’s another revolution happening at our parking meters.
The evolution of payment terminals in Australian parking
Since the mid-1990s, pay and display machines have been the go-to device for on-street parking in Australia. Most of you will be familiar with pay and display – it’s the simple system of paying for parking and receiving a printed ticket to prove you have paid. Today, Duncan’s MX/TX machines represent almost two thirds of all parking machines across the country.
But the move away from paper tickets is gathering pace. Data is driving the new smart city revolution, and the focus is turning to more complex, integrated parking management systems that have a myriad of components talking to one another, and transmit occupancy, turnover, available parking, and driver behaviour information to mobile apps and digital signs to assist in finding a park and reducing congestion.
Unfortunately, the old paper ticket doesn’t fit well into this brave new world, where the requirement is all about getting the driver to nominate a unique identifier for their payment – either a parking space, or their licence plate. Only these paperless ways of paying for parking enable the city to capture the sort of data that they can in turn provide to drivers for guidance, and send to officers to improve the compliance process and help increase turnover.
The good news is, Duncan makes it really easy to upgrade your old pay and display machine without ripping it out of the ground. Installing a new modular pay by space or pay and display kit only takes about 60 minutes per terminal, and is considerably cheaper than buying new machines.
Pay by bay parking machines
Pay by bay parking uses the parking space itself as the UI for a transaction. Sensors in the bay communicate with an upgraded TX machine, alerting the system when a car enters and exits. Upon payment for the space, the terminal can automatically track how much time is left before the parking expires, communicating this to both a parking officer and the driver through their mobile devices.
This smart technology gives drivers a more convenient parking experience – they can get reminders on how much time they have left, top up their parking via remote transaction, and receive guidance from the integrated system on which bays are free now or will be in the near future.
For compliance teams, using the bay as a UI instead of a paper ticket means greater efficiency. Officers can monitor parking spaces from anywhere, even their office or break room, and are guided only to those overstaying vehicles they need to action. With pay and display, they have to check tickets on every single vehicle.
Really clever strategies can also be introduced too – the meter/sensor can prevent top up if the car has stayed too long in the same bay, wipe inherited time, and implement dynamic pricing strategies to assist in increasing turnover.
Pay by plate parking machines
The ethos behind pay by plate is similar to pay by bay – having the driver nominate a specific unique identifier that can be monitored more efficiently. Drivers enter their registration details, and can receive all the same conveniences as under a pay by space system.
Compliance teams can use licence plate recognition (LPR) technology on Council cars or on their mobile devices to scan vehicles in on-street bays, checking for payments and isolating illegally parked cars in a matter of seconds.
Both of these methodologies enable the compliance process to become far more efficient – greatly reducing staff exposure to chalking and checking every car for a ticket, come rain, hail or scorching heat.
In todays data driven world, old school paper tickets may be easy to purchase but they are certainly not ‘smart’.
To upgrade your Duncan pay and display terminals and bring them into line with intelligent parking strategies, get in touch with the team at Duncan Solutions.