Looking for ways to improve the parking experience at 28 of its Underground car parks, TfL has chosen Smart Parking’s technology to boost effi ciency and keep spaces fuller for longer
Fifteen hundred of Smart Parking’s RFID-equipped SmartEye vehicle detection sensors, linked via SmartLink data transmitters to the company’s SmartRep management application, will be installed across TfL’s off-street car park network. The five-year agreement includes the provision of equipment, maintenance and hosting, will enable car park users to park, pay, and walk away, with no need to return to their vehicle to display a ticket.
Intelligent, efficient enforcement
Each SmartEye sensor detects as a parking space is occupied or vacated. Once parked, drivers can use either a pay station or smartphone app to purchase a unique parking session by inputting their bay number. The technology enables the intelligent and efficient enforcement of paid-for sessions by providing real time occupancy and payment information to TfL’s preferred parking operator. TfL’s deployment of Smart Parking technology will see it integrated into the authority’s Parkeon Pay & Display machines.
Smart Parking’s group chief executive officer, Paul Gillespie, was delighted to have secured the contract with TfL: ‘Deploying our solution makes it more straightforward for drivers to find and pay for available spaces quickly and easily. It’s technology that will really come into its own at transport interchanges like the London Underground car park network. ‘We’re confident that Smart Parking technology will significantly improve the parking experience for London Underground users across the capital.’
Jim Short, Smart Parking’s technology sales manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa said the deployment of the company’s technology across Westminster and within London Underground car parks will benefit those travelling into and across the capital. ‘Our technology will allow commuters, business people and visitors to make informed travel decisions. Users of the ParkRight app will be able to see real time parking space availability at their destination in central London and Underground car park.
‘A benefit that, combined with real- time traffic data and tubeline status updates, will minimise journey times, inconvenience and cost, allowing users to make the best decision – all based on data provided by Smart Parking technologies. London as a whole also benefits through reduced congestion, pollution and the cost to business of staff arriving late.’
TfL’s head of New Products, David Burns, was similarly focused on the benefits offered to commuters: ‘Our partnership with SmartParking to introduce bay sensors to half of our car parks, along with a separate rollout of automatic number plate recognition across the remainder of our estate, will help TfL deliver quicker journeys for our customers.’
1. Are sensors being installed across all TfL’s off-street car parks?
No, they are being installed in 28; around 50 per cent of its estate.
2. When will the system be introduced? Will it be rolled out gradually?
Installation will take place in 2015. Each car park will have a phased switch-on, the order of which is to be confirmed.
3. At which station car parks will the sensors be installed?
Among the list are: Brent Cross, Highgate, Hounslow East, Wanstead, Fairlop, Queensbury, South Ruislip, Ruislip Gardens, South Harrow, Eastcote and Hornchurch.
4. How is parking currently managed at TfL’s car parks?
Via conventional pay and display machines that accept cash and cashless phone payment, the car park estates are managed by NCP on behalf of TfL.
5. What are the main benefits of the system for TfL?
Complete space-by-space occupancy management information across the car parks, allowing better planning and use of data in the long term for strategy purposes. Another benefit is the increased parking compliance from the fair use of resources to find spaces for drivers during peak times, and better understanding of underutilisation that gives the ability to offer promotions during quieter periods.
6. How will commuters benefit?
Real time visibility of parking space availability from home/en-route, combined with line status updates, assists commuters in choosing the quickest and/or most convenient route. There is also the potential in the future for an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag for payment and/or loyalty bonuses.
7. How does TfL’s application differ from the system in Westminster?
In the technology itself there is very little difference. The Westminster installation is on-street, meaning that availability and turn-by-turn guidance to individual bays is of much higher significance. Other differences include the many different kerbside categories that the borough has compared with TfL’s car parks – such as disabled, resident, electric vehicles, car sharing and loading bays. Turnover rates, hourly pricing and maximum stays all factor in fair use.
TfL is off-street and configured as a park and ride scheme with a daily tariff, meaning turnover rates and maximum stay aren’t relevant. TfL’s system encourages the use of the London Underground with a customer experience that rewards loyalty and the first and last point of customer contact with TfL is in the car park.