THE CASE FOR EXCLUSLVE PAY-BY-CELL
Arguments Against Pay-by-Cell Exclusively ■ Requires motorist to use cell phone; and may be difficult for
some who are technology-challenged. ■ Fear of sharing and storing personal data with a third-party
app provider; and fear of identity theft. ■ A percentage of the general population do not have the ability
to place a credit card account on file with the mobile application provider for payment privileges.
Systematic Approach to Successful Implementation of Pay-By-Phone Exclusivity A successful implementation of a pay-by-cell program requires the consumer’s willingness to adopt this method of payment for parking transactions. In recent years we have seen many communities implement a pay-by-cell solution as an alternative payment method to single and multi-space meter payment options. In a few instances, municipalities have made the operational leap from a single-space, coin-only parking meter, to the addition of a pay-by-cell solution. Usually, this implementation comes as a result of a neighboring municipality’s successful implementation and adoption, creating political pressure for other municipal agencies to follow. We find this common approach instrumental in our short list of recommendations for a successful implementation of an exclusive pay-by-cell program.
Attrition Approach As the operation and utilization of multi-space meters decline throughout certain areas of downtowns, consider downsizing physical parking meter assets and repurposing inventory to push motorists to use the pay-by-cell option versus the meter option. Requiring a behavioral change, motorists may be willing to use the pay-by-cell option if it means they do not have to walk out of the way to find the next available parking kiosk.
Destination District Approach Frequent and popular destination districts, otherwise known as entertainment and recreation districts, will often provide an opportunity to introduce new technology solutions. Users of these districts generally want quick and easy access to parking options to allow more immediate access to enjoying the amenities the district has to offer. The absence of parking kiosks and single-space meters will most likely enhance the look and feel of the pedestrian pathways within the district.
On-Street Program Expansion Approach Procurement of additional meters to expand an on-street parking program typically requires a capital funding plan with a justified return on investment analysis. Expanding an on-street program with a pay-by-cell only strategy substantially reduces the capital 34 PARKING & MOBILITY / MAY 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
funding to the simple cost of adding an instructional sign package and promotional advertisement. Implementation of this type of program expansion may also occur in much shorter time frame.
Parking Benefit District Approach Parking Benefit Districts are designed to charge a fee for a motorist to park on street only to have the proceeds from their parking transaction used to make various infrastructure improvements such as street sweeping, tree planting and trimming, sidewalk and street repair, street lighting, graffiti removal, historic preservation, or simply putting overhead utility wires underground. Use of a pay-by-cell only program contributes to the unique branding efforts of the district and allows the revenues to be electronically tracked, appropriated and spent using a secure tracking environment, free from cash handling discrepancies and mishaps.
Arena and Performing Arts Center District Approach Typically, these types of districts allow an opportunity for motorists and event attendees to receive the benefit of promotional advertising and venue discounts with their payment transaction. Motorists completing a pay-by-cell parking transaction may be eligible to receive a venue discount for food and beverage or team and gift shop purchases when paying to park during pre-event hours.
Transit Corridor Approach Municipal streets providing heavy transit use may consider the need to incorporate a pay-by-cell only program to reduce rightof-way obstruction and prevent the ability for motorists to pay for parking during restricted hours. Integrating a pay-by-cell solution with this business rule may also be tied to a pay-by-cell parking guidance solution to inform the motorist when a parking space is available for use. ◆ JIM CORBETT, CAPP, is director of studies for Walker Consultants. He can be reached at jcorbett@ walkerconsultants.com.
JOHN DORSETT, AICP, is senior vide president for Walker Consultants. He can be reached at jdorsett@ walkerconsultants.com.
REFERENCES 1. https://www.google.com/amp/s/9to5mac.com/2018/09/30/pew-data-smartphoneownership/amp/ 2. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20020073027A1/en 3. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/ 4. https://www.statista.com/topics/2711/ us-smartphone-market/#dossierSummary__chapter1