Leveraging U.K. Parking Datasets to Improve Kerbside Management

August 3, 2020 Dean Fennell-Connell

Life at the kerb is clearly starting to change.

Our experience has shown Metropolitan and local transportation authorities around the world are seeking to integrate local parking datasets as part of their efforts to modernise, streamline and optimise parking operations.

Increasingly in competitive procurements, U.K. authorities use terms such as ‘open data sources’ or ‘in-line with data standards’ to emphasise the importance of sharing data to enhance visibility and provide data-driven insights that better inform future city parking operations.

We understand most cities find it difficult to separate what they believe about parking and mobility trends or behaviours from what they can actually prove. Traditional reporting is not adequate for providing the insights they need. By linking disparate datasets together, local authorities can gather insights to better inform decisions about changes to existing operations.

Unfortunately, the more data these local agencies collect, the bigger the mystery parking becomes without the right combination of advanced tools and technical expertise to fully explore and examine trends and fine-tune parking operations decisions.

Analytic advances and enhanced data integration are crucial to the advent of intelligent mobility services. It’s impossible to offer greater mobility and reduce congestion, for example, when parking operations are carried out in siloes, through multiple contracts. Instead, this results in conflicts that can have a negative impact on parking operations. Greater visibility across multiple datasets can help local authorities enhance mobility and reduce congestion by enabling them to focus on demand-based parking availability and providing real-time information to help drivers park their cars quickly.

Doing nothing, post COVID-19 will create greater congestion, slow public transportation, frustrate drivers and making cycling more dangerous. It’s our responsibility as mobility professionals to do all we can to enhance existing parking operations, and this includes applying analytic advances to help improve kerbside management and ease driver frustration.

We realise terms such as advanced analytics, AI and big data, have become buzzwords watered-down through overuse. Reports and dashboards, while helpful, do not provide an in-depth understanding of patterns, nor do they provide the actionable insights decision-makers need.

Conduent Transportation is helping clients address this challenge through access to our team of data scientists. These experts solve real-life problems and assist in qualifying new services using all of the information/datasets available to them, adding value that traditional procurements may not fully realise.

Via our partnership with Washington, D.C.’s Department of Transportation, for example, we created an innovative pilot program designed to ease congestion and reduce pollution through demand-based parking and real-time parking guidance by:

  • Providing real-time parking availability information so drivers spend less time searching for a parking space;
  • Adjusting prices for parking to ensure parking availability even during ‘high-demand’ periods;
  • Testing a more cost-effective approach that relies on fewer data collection assets to collect parking data.

After four years, our successful D.C. pilot has achieved multiple notable returns, including:

  • Parking occupancy was reduced by 59% during peak times in popular locations;
  • Use of underutilised spaces has increased by 14%;
  • Circling for parking decreased by 10-15% as finding parking spaces has grown easier as congestion decreased;
  • Applying pricing strategies to loading zones reduced double parking by 55%;

In addition, there was no negative impact on local businesses and the pilot test area maintains high use of non-driving transportation modes. With these results, Washington, D.C. plans to expand the program to other neighbourhoods, and is testing new technologies to help make the program more sustainable.

In the U.K., the Conduent Transportation team created a Parking Right Management module that will enable council staff to gain a holistic view of on-street parking occupancy, using real-time and historic data from mobile enforcement vehicles. This module, added to existing datasets in our back-office applications, enables our clients to overlay existing parking information from networked pay and display terminals, cashless parking sessions and multi-vendor capabilities such as those offered by a Conduent U.K. client to provide residents, businesses and visitors with access to three separate cashless parking providers, as well as pay and display terminals that offer cash and payment card options. In addition, information about persistent evaders and permits also provides a more complete view of the city’s parking operations to help determine how best to optimise kerbside management.

Our module helps clients gain the ability to support their own in-house parking operations using technological solutions that we also offer via specialised, outsourcing services.

As parking operations evolve, the management of the kerb is starting to take shape. Decisions made by local authorities today in conjunction with partners and suppliers, will help improve how cities evolve and thrive in the future.

 

About the Author

Dean Fennell-Connell leads business growth for Conduent Transportation’s kerbside management services in the UK. With over 10 years of parking industry experience, he supports clients and technology suppliers by identifying solutions to enhance operations and customer experience. Dean also serves as Parking Technology Representative on the British Parking Association Council.

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