By Melissa Tucci
A parking lot is often your customers’ first and last interaction with your facility and can therefore have a direct and memorable impact on their overall satisfaction with the experience. The parking operation should be clean and safe, and the equipment you use to control access and generate revenue from parking should be functional and appropriate to the task.
Each parking lot has a unique set of conditions that all need to be addressed in designing a solution – not only what types of parkers you want to attract or deter, but what means are at your disposal to finance the operation.
Some items to consider include:
- Capital costs
- Installation costs
- Maintenance costs
- Operational costs
- Projected revenues
- Life expectancy
- Updates and certification versus forklift upgrades
Gated parking systems are more expensive not only because more equipment is required — terminals and barriers at the entrance and exit, pay stations, servers, etc. — but the equipment itself is more complex.
Multi-space meters in ungated parking lots, by contrast, require only the meters themselves, which are usually less expensive to begin with. They can more easily be offered on an all-in rental basis, eliminating the need for capital purchase. As some parking operators upgrade their systems from ungated to gated systems, an increasing number of refurbished multi-space meters are available on the market, providing a unique opportunity for smaller businesses and municipalities to launch a paid parking program using certified equipment.
Installing gated systems requires a great deal of design and engineering. You’ll need to take into consideration how cars will approach and queue at the entrance and exit gates.
The terminals and gates will need to be mounted on concrete islands….