Monetizing Excess Capacity

In many circumstances where shared parking opportunities are significant and offer clear benefit, arrangements fail to materialize due to a lack of incentive + liability concerns on the part of lot owners who have off-hour capacity to spare.

Often, these lot owners see no benefit in reciprocal arrangements, having plenty of their own parking when they are busy. And, while the actual cost of insuring against any increased liability is modest, many lot owners consider this factor a non-starter in any discussion of opening their parking up to the public.


Mobile payment technologies, however, offer a new and innovative means of facilitating shared parking, by allowing owners to monetize their off-hour excess capacity. Lot owners can request that their facility be added to an existing “pay by phone” system or connected to a vendor’s system on their own. The vendor will provide a unique location identity that parkers enter with their payments. The vendor will also provide on-site signage with the hours and pricing of the owners choosing. The resulting revenue goes directly to the lot owners.

Difficulty

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Cost

Impact

Key Benefits

  • Reduces the need for new parking construction

  • Makes better use of existing parking facilities, supporting area travel, access, and economic opportunity

  • Facilitates shared-parking agreements as a broadly used strategy in parking constrained districts

  • Provides many of the benefits of having a formal parking authority, and a managed public-parking system, in places where these are lacking

  • Cities and other third parties can expand these benefits by:

    • Providing an informational platform that directs drivers to shared parking options

    • Adding branding and coordinated wayfinding to enhance user comfort with shared facilities

    • Developing a program to promote participation in a monetized shared-parking program, to actively promote the benefits of participation – see Park Omaha case study below.

Case Studies

 NATIONAL 

 REGIONAL 

Park Omaha

Omaha, NE

The City of Omaha recently branded the Parking Division of its Public Works Department as “Park Omaha” to signal a commitment to providing coordinated and strategic management of its on- and off-street parking resources. The goals were to maximize efficiency, minimize frustrations and develop an extensive shared parking network. A key component of the Park Omaha mission was to set up a system to incorporate private parking facilities into a unified network as a way of increasing supply without building more facilities. The Park Omaha Partners program provides a user-friendly, online process for property owners to offer their unused spaces, at a specified schedule, to the Park Omaha network through a shared parking agreement. Mobile payment is available via the Park Omaha App with each respective partner facility receiving revenue directly, thereby removing the need for each operator to establish their own system. While the City of Omaha leads the effort, they partner with operators and a parking advisory committee to provide guidance and ensure system optimization.

Implementation Considerations

Role of Public Sector

  • Legalizes shared parking agreements, which some zoning codes prohibit for spaces provided to meet minimum parking requirements

  • Brokers shared parking agreements between property owners to share parking resources (as necessary)

  • Establishes pay-by-phone for public parking.

  • Such services are typically available for anyone to use, allowing lot owners to engage the pay-by-phone vendor to create a payment zone and install signage in order to charge for off-hour parking

  • Establishes shared-parking platform to 1) recruit lot owners to share off-hour parking capacities, 2) monetize this parking for the lot owners, and 3) promote the availability of this parking via the platform’s website and mobile application

Role of Private Sector

  • Works with municipality and fellow property owners to make effective, and potentially lucrative, arrangements to make off-hour parking capacities more widely available

  • Promote coordination with city/other non-profit on shared-parking platform with other private property owners

  • Establishes shared-parking platform to 1) recruit lot owners to share off-hour parking capacities, 2) monetize this parking for the lot owners, and 3) promote the availability of this parking via the platform’s website and mobile application

Timing

  • Applies most directly to existing properties with excess parking capacity

  • May also inform future parking supply decisions, particularly if a broad application makes significant parking resources available through shared parking, thus reducing perceived needs for on-site parking