Why the Open Market Approach Works Better For Operators and Parkers

Man using a smartphone to pay for a parking space

Why the Open Market Approach Works Better For Operators and Parkers

Man using a smartphone to pay for a parking space

Navigating the Parking Paradigm

Like any modern industry, the parking industry is full of ever-changing dynamics and technological advancements that constantly shake its foundations. 

To navigate this changing landscape, parking operators need to know about innovative solutions to the problems facing their company and its parking assets. Open market parking is one such innovative solution drastically changing the parking game. 

Challenges on Every Corner

Parking departments in cities nationwide are grappling with significant challenges as they strive to manage limited space and rising demand. For city departments, the enforcement of parking regulations and the collection of fees can be resource-intensive. 

This situation often frustrates individuals searching for parking spots, particularly in dense urban areas with acute congestion and competition for spaces. The myriad of different parking applications further complicate parking payments for consumers. 

These issues underscore the need for a transformative approach to urban parking management. 

What is the Open Market Model?

The open market model seeks to solve the overabundance of competing parking apps on smartphones by providing an overarching solution that integrates them all. By integrating different parking apps, cities, and their parkers can benefit from convenience.

The open market approach draws from principles seen in other industries. For example, many online and brick-and-mortar stores accept various payment options, including credit cards, mobile payment apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay, and even digital currencies. This flexibility enhances customer convenience and potentially increases sales.

Benefits For Municipal Parking Departments 

The open market approach to parking payment systems offers several advantages for municipalities and their parking departments. The approach allows for increased competition between parking apps and connections between them all, ensuring that your parkers and you have the best experience with the app and its systems.

In addition, this allows for improved operational efficiency and the potential for revenue growth. When parkers don’t have the right parking app, many get frustrated or do not pay for their parking. The open market approach covers all of your bases and ensures payment.

Parking garage filled with cars

Benefits For Customers

When it comes to parking apps, studies have shown that 63% of parkers only have one parking app downloaded on their phones, and 83% only want to have one parking app. As mentioned, this can lead to frustration and parking illegally, costing you money in the short-term and long-term if they choose not to revisit your municipality.

The open market approach caters to parkers with different parking apps, allowing them to coexist and compete healthily without hurting the parker’s experience. This diversity of options and increased parker satisfaction make the open market approach the best payment system for customers and parking operators.

Success Stories From Across the Globe

Across the Atlantic, Europe has pioneered the open market model and experienced incredible benefits. One example is Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, which successfully introduced open market parking. 

In the early 2000s, Copenhagen began implementing mobile parking systems backed by substantial funding and a meticulous tender process. However, the project was a significant disappointment, resulting in a mere 10% of the total parking revenue originating from the mobile payment system in 2010. 

The shift to an open market approach fostered a new era of competition and freedom of choice. Within two years of implementing this new approach, mobile payment usage rates soared to over 50%, and the city was able to begin to phase out traditional parking meters.

The United Kingdom (UK) has also successfully employed the open market approach. Using platforms like RingGo, the UK has begun allowing people to choose from various parking apps and seamlessly make payments. 

Busy street in England right next to a red telephone booth

With the newfound freedom for parkers to choose from various parking apps, the UK has created a parking ecosystem that prioritizes user convenience and accessibility. In May 2021, cash accounted for over 80% of all parking payments in the UK. With this approach, the UK decreased revenue collection in parking meters in the country to less than 50% of total parking revenues.

The success of the open market approach abroad shows how it can be practically implemented with little effort and big rewards. The parking world, parkers, and operators rejoice in newfound convenience and revenue opportunities with an open market approach.

It’s Time to Embrace the Open Market Approach

An open market approach requires advanced technology, so planning for the switch is essential. 

ParkHub offers CurbTrac, the ultimate solution for helping cities embrace the open market approach. CurbTrac provides a centralized dashboard for linking multiple parking apps and data for analyzing trends, helping you make informed decisions. 

Book a free demo with ParkHub to learn more about how CurbTrac can help you embrace the open market approach.

Posted by ParkHub on February 8, 2024