$17 Billion Dollar Parking Industry On Verge Of Payment Revolution

$17 Billion Dollar Parking Industry On Verge Of Payment Revolution

New Smart Card Alliance White Paper Addresses Parking System Applications

Princeton Junction, NJ, January 13, 2006–Americans have been looking for the right change to park their vehicles ever since 1935, and the parking industry has been seeking the most cost-effective and convenient collection method just as long. Both the $17 billion parking industry and the American public are about to experience a sea change of payment using smart card technology.

A new white paper, Smart Cards and Parking: A Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council White Paper, illustrates the changes taking place in the parking industry and the emerging role of smart card-based payment strategies. The paper also reviews the payment trends of the transit, financial and tolling industries, and their impact on the parking industry.

Smart cards already have considerable momentum in parking, and the report details the status of 30 U.S. programs, from Coral Gables, Florida to Portland, Oregon. The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), for example, has been issuing contact smart cards to pay for parking since 1998, and has issued more than one million cards. According to industry estimates, at least 75 percent of the tenders for payment in 2004 and 2005 have required both coin and a contact smart card.

The paper points to two motivational reasons for the parking industry to change the current payment technology: the strong desire for a cashless payment and improvement in data collection in on-street parking equipment. According to the paper, the potential exists for the transit and parking industry to be able to leverage common standards, systems, technology and support infrastructure to ensure payment approaches are more cost-effective and add value for the consumer.

The paper addresses the following key points:

  • Identification of the market forces leading to the increased use of innovative electronic payment strategies in all transportation sectors
  • Discussion of the operational and customer benefits of smart card technology for transportation payment applications
  • Description of the current status of payment within the parking industry and the benefits that can result from leveraging the transit and financial industries’ accomplishments in electronic payments

By participating in transportation industry initiatives, such as the Transportation Council, the parking, transit, tolling and financial industries can collaborate on projects and standards that can facilitate regional, and ultimately, national transportation payment networks.

In the transit sector, 9.6 billion mass transit trips were taken in 2004. In cities such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, an estimated 15 million smart cards and over 20,000 payment processing devices will appear within the next two years with the introduction of this technology. This investment is helping to push the adoption of similar payment approaches in the parking industry.

Many key benefits are being achieved through the use of smart card technologies for parking, including improved customer service, increased revenues, increased operational efficiency, stronger controls and security, and expanding market opportunities.

“Smart card technology is on the move in more ways than one,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Alliance. “The technology behind the millions of new payment cards that consumers are beginning to use for fast, low value bank card transactions at fast food and conveniences stores is also available for card-based transit and parking payments. We thought it was an important time to provide a detailed view of how smart cards were being used in the parking, transit and financial sectors and discuss the potential for these systems to converge.”

Transportation and parking industry leaders agree. “The white paper provides a thorough view of the use of smart cards in parking and other related industries and highlights the opportunities for future collaboration,” said Mark Yedinak, chair, International Parking Institute Technology Committee, which reviewed the white paper along with the National Parking Association.

“This document is an important first step to the widespread adoption of smart cards in the parking industry. It provides an excellent overview of the possibilities, capabilities and history of smart cards and the programs that exist. The Parking Consultants Council of the National Parking Association was pleased to lend our expertise to the effort,” said Mary S. Smith, senior vice president, Walker Parking Consultants.

“This Alliance report has information you cannot find anywhere else, because it was put together by the people actually involved in these programs. It is a must read for transit, parking and toll executives and managers,” said Greg Garback, executive officer, Department of Finance, Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) and co-chair of the Transportation Council.

Individuals from 21 organizations in the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council collaborated on this white paper. Lead contributors included representatives from: ACS, Cubic Parking Systems, First Data Corporation, MacKay Meters Inc., Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, OTI America, Parcxmart Technologies, Inc., PARSONS, PBS&J, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Visa USA, ViVOtech and WMATA.

The white paper, written for executives and managers, is available at no charge from the Smart Card Alliance web site at http://www.securetechalliance.org.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.securetechalliance.org.

About the Transportation Council

The Transportation Council is one of several Smart Card Alliance technology and industry councils that were created to foster increased industry collaboration within a specified industry or market segment.

The Transportation Council is focused on promoting the adoption of interoperable contactless smart card payment systems for transit and other transportation services. Formed in association with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Council is engaged in projects that support applications of smart card use. Transportation Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects. Additional information about the Transportation Council can be found at /activities-councils-transportation.