Parking Facility Standards – How do your parking garages stack up?

Parking Excellence Recognized in Canada (PERC), later updated to the Parking Facility Standards Award program (PFSA) was the first parking facility evaluation program of its kind, and saw many Canadian parking organizations achieve success through participation in the program.

Derived from these past award programs, a standard checklist of items required to meet acceptable, minimum standards for a parking facility has been further amended and endorsed by the Canadian Parking Association as the benchmark for measuring a facility against national standards.

The objective of sharing this check list is to provide the tools necessary for operators to self-check their parking facilities against minimum requirements to manage and maintain a quality parking operation that sets it above others, and helps to improve the image of the industry.  The standards cover a variety of facility types, from gravel lots to state-of-the-art parkades, both old and new.

Through a comprehensive consultative process involving a team of parking professionals representing the municipal, airport, campus, private, and hospital sectors, a set of criteria emerged.  The CPA’s Image Committee, comprised of board members from all Canadian sectors, worked in consultation with members from all regions of the country during various stages of development.

Focus groups were conducted in five major cities across Canada:  Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Saint John.  More than 300 participants from a range of community sectors were asked to share current and relevant information about their experiences using parking facilities.

Keeping in mind that this study was conducted prior to the technological boom that has evolved and transformed the industry over the past decade, the study’s main focus at the time was on the physical state of the parking facilities and the level of customer service provided to enhance the parking experience.  Despite the development and introduction of new technology, maintaining standards in all aspects of…

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Optimum Parking Management – Business Intelligence: The Next Big Thing In Parking


Every time a car enters a parking facility, it leaves a trail. A data trail that is. A gate goes up to let a car in, a payment is made, a gate goes up again to let it exit, time and date the car entered and exited, how much the driver paid, the method of payment, and so forth were measured.

When the parking serves a huge flow of traffic, as is the case for an airport or a hospital parking lot, this data trail becomes big. How big? As big as “Big Data”, the relatively new term that refers to the gathering and storing of large amounts of information for analysis.

Of the business leaders polled, 85% said they believed big data will dramatically change the way they do business. The statistics support their perception – data volumes are expected to double every 1.2 years. Another fact, businesses using data analytics are five times more likely to make faster decisionsi.

Big data can produce big returns for businesses. Nowadays, Big Data is a “big” deal, the “new oil” of the digital economy. But big data is a challenge, because of the amount and complexity of data being mined, the high speed and complexities of data flows which can be unpredictable, and the fact that data comes from multiple sources, which makes it difficult to link, match, and transform across systems.

Data, on its own, is worthless. Many organizations are hitting stumbling blocks trying to tame it: part of the problem is the fact that the majority of companies spend 80% of their time manually collecting data for analysis, which leads to inaccuracies. Poor data or ‘lack of understanding the data’ are cited as the primary reasons for over budget projects and could cost…

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Canada’s Changing Parking Landscape

By Bill Smith

We live in a time of great change when it comes to parking. The industry has been revolutionized in recent years by the development of many new technologies that are designed to make parking more customer-friendly, while at the same time benefitting owners and operators by making operations more manageable. These technological advances have transformed the ways owners and operators manage their parking assets, and they’ve even changed the ways drivers approach parking.

Today, we are on the cusp of another technological revolution that will carry extraordinary implications for the parking industry. The age of connected and self-driving vehicles will soon be in full bloom and each will present a host of challenges and opportunities. While these future vehicles may seem like the stuff of science fiction, it won’t be long before each plays an important role in our transportation system.

Getting Connected

The connected vehicle is already well on its way to becoming a reality. In just a few years all new cars will have vehicle infrastructure communications and will be connected to the grid. Our vehicles will be able to communicate with traffic technology and recommend which routes to take to avoid congestion and reach our destinations more quickly. They will also take us right to available parking spaces and automatically pay for the exact amount of time we need to park.

According to Nigel Bullers, CEO of EasyPark in Vancouver, the primary challenge for operators and municipal parking managers is forecasting what future connected cars will be able to do. He says that, ultimately, there will need to be a meeting of the minds between what auto manufacturers think their smart cars should do and what consumers actually want.

“It’s not as easy as it may seem to predict what features will be present and how operators and municipalities…

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