Parking in Canberra - The Smart Parking Solution

In May 2016 the ACT Government began a 12month proof of concept Smart Parking trial in Manuka, Canberra. The trial aims to test the performance of 460 underground parking bay sensors, 5 Variable Message Signs showing parking availability and the ParkCBR parking availability App.


The Challenge

undefinedThe ACT Government is committed to ensuring the ACT is a livable city now and into the future. As part of this commitment there are a number of innovative digital projects that have been and are being rolled out across the territory. One of these innovations is the Smart Parking trial in Manuka.    

This trial complements the 2014 parking machine upgrade, where 300 new off-street pay parking machines with new payment options, including credit card and pay-by-phone technology (Parkmobile) were upgraded across the Territory. The ACT has seen a growing appetite for the use of pay-by-phone technology with users increasing since the product was implemented in 2014.

Following on from this parking machine upgrade, and in response to feedback received during the tender process and Digital Canberra consultations, the ACT Government developed the Smart Parking – transforming parking in the ACT issues paper.

The issues paper outlined key features of different smart parking technologies and a one month consultation occurred in early 2015 to examine the potential roll out of these technologies in the ACT. Manuka shopping precinct was selected as the suitable trial location to test and seek feedback on smart parking technology in the ACT. 

The ACT Government conducted a full Request for Proposal procurement process before contracting Smart Parking Limited to provide the smart parking solution for the trial.

undefinedThe Solution

The Manuka Smart Parking trial uses innovative technology to save drivers time, reduce traffic delays and provide a better overall user experience. 

Before road users get in their car, they should check the ParkCBR App, which shows the available parking spaces across 460 parking bays in Manuka shopping precinct, by on/off street, street name and by category – paid-for, free, covered, open and disability parking spots.

Once users have selected a parking location ParkCBR then interacts with Google Maps GPS voice navigation the to direct the driver to their chosen space.

Payment is made through the app with a link to Parkmobile.

Drivers can download ParkCBR smartphone application for iOS and Android devices using the following links.

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undefinedUpon approach to Manuka the driver is provided updated parking information on five LED intelligent traffic signs.

Intelligent traffic signs guide the motorist towards available parking spaces by showing them where available spaces are the two main parking areas in Manuka:

o   191 bays Furneaux car park multistorey; and

o   108 bays on Bougainville street. 




Over 190 off-street bays are located at Furneaux Street car park at the corner of Furneaux and Bougainville Streets.

If the driver chooses to park in Furneaux Street car park they will be guided to unoccupied bays by green overhead lighting.



The benefits

Smart Parking can make it easier for you to find and pay for a park and help reduce your travel times, making it easier for you to move around Canberra during peak times.

  • International studies suggest that 30 per cent of traffic in downtown areas are cars looking for a carpark (noting that the figure in Canberra may not be this high).
  • Westminster Council, in London, has publically announced that they are looking into the possibility of creating a cashless parking scheme through radio frequency identification chips (RFID).  In the future, motorists may be able to park and walk away – automatically paying for parking however long they stay.

Smart Parking can reduce traffic congestion from cars cruising for a park.  This can benefit everyone and reduce our emissions, making for a more sustainable and efficient city.

Smart Parking can improve access for shops and businesses by improved optimisation of available parking spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on the ACT Government's Smart Parking trial please visit our FAQ.

Where can I find out more?

Watch full interviews with ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr; ACT Government officials, Smart Parking representatives and local business owners here

For more information please visit: