The downtown area of any city can be a nightmare as far as parking is concerned. There usually aren’t enough spaces for all of the people who want to park there, whether it’s for work or leisure activities. When there’s a large event going on, this gets even worse, due to the influx of people in vehicles. This is where city centre parking management comes in.
One of these systems will go a long way towards controlling the flow of people parking in the downtown areas. On top of that, a system that automatically collects payments for you will help you earn a little revenue as well.
Let’s start at the beginning of the city centre parking management process with ticket terminals. These are designed to give people tickets as they enter or exit a parking structure. They can also print receipts and number of other things. For example, if you are offering people free parking for a certain period of time, the ticket terminal will give out slips of paper that say this. No one will be caught unaware.
On top of this, some ticket terminals can be combined with other functions, such as monitoring the cars as they enter or exit the parking garage. If the parking structure is full, the terminal will note this and not allow anyone else in. This prevents people from having to pay for parking for just a few minutes – the length of time that it takes them to drive through the lot and discover that it’s full.
How can these terminals help the city centre parking management process? They are unmanned, automated machines that do all of the work for you. You can use them to restrict access, charge people for parking, and monitor the activity of cars entering and exiting your lots.
Next, there are payment stations. These play a crucial role in any city centre parking management setup. If you’re charging people to parking in your lots or structures, then they allow you to do this without having to pay someone to sit there, take tickets, and calculate payments. The automated machines handle all of this for you. There are two main types of these stations.
The first is a simple station that doesn’t have a digitized screen. This payment station is attached to your city centre parking management arrangement. When someone goes to exit your parking deck, they insert their ticket into the station. The machine quickly calculates how much they owe and then accepts the payment.
It accepts coins, paper money, and debit and credit cards. Once the payment has been made, the station opens the barriers (more on those in a minute) and then spits out a receipt. This is important, as some people may be able to expense that parking fee, depending, of course, on why they were downtown, to begin with.
The other payment station works in a similar manner, but it’s a bit more sophisticated. It’s just as tamper-proof as the first one, but it has a digital screen that makes it easy to determine how much you owe for parking. This station also accepts different types of coins and paper money, as well as debit and credit cards. It works just as fast, can provide receipts, and is attached to the barriers.
Overall, this station is quite nice, as it has battery backups and thermal printed paper. It’s also vandal proof, and no one will be able to get into it without the key and special access information. It will definitely make your city centre parking management system work even better than before.
Car Park Barriers
Finally, there are car park barriers. These barriers are also a major part of any city centre parking management scheme. They literally control the number of cars that get through. The barriers are typically attached to the ticket terminals at one end and the payment stations at the other.
When a person takes a ticket to enter the parking structure, the barrier will rise or move to the side to allow them to do so. At the other end, when someone goes to exit, the barrier will move only once the fee has been paid. Everything is automated and no person is needed.
However, there’s another function at play here – the ability to block vehicles from exiting. Let’s say that someone parked in a mall garage and then robbed a jewelry store. The security team can prevent all vehicles from exiting the garage until they are sure that the thief isn’t among them. The thief can also be stopped at the exit by the barrier as they try to flee, presuming that the car has been identified. All that the security team needs to do is hit a button.