Case Study

City of Portsmouth

The City of Portsmouth Reduces Congestion
by Adjusting Parking Rate Structure

Who’s Involved

Benjamin Fletcher | Parking Director for the City of Portsmouth

Customer Takeaways

The program encourages greater use of the City’s two parking garages, both of which offer a flat hourly rate and do not escalate pricing at the 4th hour and beyond. The Stay & Pay program has reduced overall congestion and dramatically increased the year-over-year length of stay in both parking garages.


In 2017, the City of Portsmouth implemented ParkHub’s Smarking Business Intelligence (BI) solution to consolidate parking data streams into a single dashboard, enabling efficient oversight of parking assets and informed decisions. This integration facilitated real-time monitoring and data-driven management, avoiding the complexities of handling multiple systems.

In August 2020, the city used this data to implement a new parking model called the “Stay & Pay” program. The program eliminated a three-hour time limit on parking and increased rates for longer stays. The goal was to balance encouraging turnover at the three-hour mark with the desire of customers who wanted the flexibility to stay longer at a higher rate. The changes led to significant increases in garage revenues and the average length of stay, demonstrating the program’s success in improving both the user experience and the city’s financial returns.

The Challenge

Need to increase turnover and parking availability to relieve congestion caused by commuters seeking parking.

Time limits can impact the ability of residents and visitors to enjoy Portsmouth.

The Solution

Stay and Pay Program

Given the overall demand for its on-street inventory and the consistent, vocal demand for longer-duration stays, Portsmouth worked with ParkHub to develop a plan to allow visitors to stay longer than the three-hour time limit while still encouraging turnover. 

The City of Portsmouth implemented its Stay & Pay pricing model, which kept the cost of the initial three hours unchanged but eliminated time limits and increased the rate for parking beyond three hours. Metered on-street hourly rate from $2 per hour to $5 per hour in high occupancy zones and $1.50 per hour to $3 per hour in other areas for users staying beyond 3 hours. 

The Results

In just over nine months of use, the Stay & Pay program resulted in the following initial success:

91% of on-street and lot users continue to vacate their space at the 3rd hour.

42% and 26% year-over-year increase in revenue per transaction at the Foundry and Hanover garages, respectively.

14% year-over-year increase in revenue per transaction for all lots and on-street parking.

48% increase (from 4.8 hours to 7.1 hours) in the average length of stay at the Foundry garage.

10% increase (from 3.6 hours to 3.9 hours) in the average length of stay at the Hanover garage.

In Conclusion

The City of Portsmouth’s introduction of the Stay & Pay parking rate structure, facilitated by ParkHub’s Smarking BI solution, successfully reduced congestion and optimized parking asset management. By eliminating the three-hour parking limit and adjusting rates for longer stays, the program encouraged the use of the city’s parking garages, increasing garage revenue and the duration of parking stays. These changes improved the parking experience for users and contributed positively to the city’s financial health and urban mobility.

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With integrated payments, devices, and business intelligence, ParkHub is paving the road to a brighter digital future. On that road, ParkHub customers are driving away from cash, quickly and seamlessly.