The Parking of Past
When we thought about parking traditionally, it was always about the car. But the car is no longer the only way we get around — and it’s not the only thing we park. We park scooters, we park bikes, we park in Ubers. And we can let all of these modes park in garages, too. When we let new mobility into the garage, the opportunities to generate revenue and maintain relevance start to grow.
For some time, the idea of introducing “future-ready” services was attractive to the parking industry. But it wasn’t until this year, 2020, that the “future” landed right in front of us unexpectedly.
The catastrophic effects of COVID-19 gave us an unsettling glimpse into the possibility of a future in which cars no longer dominate — not a novel idea by any means. For years the parking industry has recognized consumer propensity for mobile-based interactions, the growing popularity of micromobility, and the imminent introduction of autonomous vehicles — all of which have gradually begun to threaten our reliance on cars.
But the world being placed on pause demonstrated how suddenly these massive shifts in behavior can happen. Eight months later, we’re still grasping for any semblance of normality. But there’s no returning to normal.
On the Horizon
We’ll never look at touch-based interactions the same way and consumers are still consistently choosing isolated modes of transit over public or shared ones. That means more scooters over Ubers and more personal vehicles over public transportation. Sounds like a good thing for parking cars, right? But it also means more work from home, less office building occupancy, and more downtime on the weekends.
The events of 2020 are just the beginning. Going from near-zero occupancy to business rising back to normal levels is not a blip in the long-term timeline. It is the new next.
Parking asset owners and operators can no longer rely on historical trends to dictate how they do business. Our industry is at a turning point where the old paradigm of parking no longer works.
That’s why we outlined the paradigm shift our industry is currently in the midst of. With our value to cities and communities constantly changing, it’s best to be in the know about what you can offer to stay relevant and keep generating revenue.