How to Setup a No Contact, Virtual Parking Permit System for a Post-COVID-19 World

Since COVID-19, AirGarage has seen unprecedented demand for its no-contact parking payment system. Here, we outline how to set one up, whether or not you are using the AirGarage system.

Most parking systems require physical permits and ticket printers, parking machines, and receipt paper. The days of waiting for a physical permit to show up in the mail are numbered. Not only is license plate permitting a better alternative, you'll be delighted to learn it's cheaper to maintain and reduces operational overhead.

No Contact Parking

But there is an alternative: virtual parking permits.

In the new normal of a post-COVID-19 world, every business in every industry is reevaluating how to accommodate new government compliance measures, safety ordinances, and a shift in public behavior. For a driver, having to think about pushing a button to eject a permit or hand cash over to an attendant can feel like putting oneself at risk. Not to mention archaic systems that use cash boxes and tokens. One way for parking lot and garage owners to do this is to set up a virtual paid parking system with AirGarage. Not only is it free to set up it offers a very valuable solution for this current crisis: no-contact parking.

Virtual Pay, an Alternative to Parking Permits

Using cloud technology, you can replace your parking attendant, parking gate, and parking validation tickets all at once. Because AirGarage uses license plate scanning technology to validate parking, no parking permits or tickets are needed. Customers simply pay with their phones. The average time to payment complete a phone is 15 seconds, which beats out swiping a credit card at a parking machine (33 seconds).

AirGarage offers a complete system of record that allows you to define parking rules, such as who is allowed to park where and when. Then, our enforcement team, or yours, can immobilize or write citations for vehicles as needed.

System Overview

The process to setup is simple. This can function as a sort of checklist for high-level steps to get the system running.

  1. Decide on number of spaces for each group. In general, we recommend more spaces for hourly transient parking since it generates more revenue and offers flexibility. In the on-demand economy, people want to pay per use, not invest up front.
  2. Decide on permit options. Monthly, semester, and yearly are the most popular. Be sure to save spaces for hourly and transient parking. We generally recommend a 50 / 50 split between permit and transient parking. Our rule of thumb is to rank your parking garages and lots in tiers 1, 2, 3 with tier 1 being the closest and most desirable. Tier 1 should be 75%+ transient parking, Tier 2 should be around 50%, and Tier 3 should be at 25%.
  3. Set the rules. Define groups such as Staff and Visitors and decide which parking lots and garages they can access at what time. This can all be programmed into a system of record like AirGarage.
  4. Set pricing. For each group, decide if parking should be free, discounted, or full price. And for each group, determine which lots each pricing policy applies to.
  5. Decide on payment methods. Mobile and web payments are a must, and are the most convenient option that 99% of parkers will use. Your office can then decide how and if to accept in person credit card or cash payments in person for people without phones.
  6. Add in hourly transient parking. Pricing for each lot or garage should be dynamic based on demand throughout the day. For example, our research has found that Tuesday and Thursday are the highest volume days and pricing for transient drivers should be higher.
  7. Set the enforcement policy. For example, rules can be programmed to leave a warning on first offense and a barnacle on second offense and towed on the third.
  8. Start enforcement. With AirGarage you can scan license plates, and if someone is in violation of the policy, the AirGarage Space Force app will show your field team which action to take.

We have worked with several institutions to set up systems as outlined above, and are happy to provide resources, guidance, and implementation. AirGarage does it all - lot enforcement, payment collection, visitor registration, and customer support. As a full-stack operator, we'll manage the day to day operations so you can get the most out of your property.

How It Works for Drivers

  1. Driver pulls into the lot and sees a sign to "text your license plate to park".
  2. They receive a link via text to pay for hourly parking or purchase a longer term permit
  3. They start their rental
  4. When they return they simply end their rental via phone and exit

On average, it takes people 15 seconds to pay with AirGarage. Collect payments over the web with easy credit card scanning.

Significant Savings Cost

Unlike other parking systems that charge you for signage, gates, and expensive monitoring systems, because this is a completely cloud-based system, there are no upfront costs, no expensive hardware, or lot attendants needed, saving you thousands of dollars. On average, AirGarage's parking enforcement solution is a 3x reduction in cost. Furthermore, your lot serves your customers and guests first and makes you money when it's not in full use.

If you're in search of a way to pivot your parking assets into having more accessible and "no-contact" parking solutions, sign up for AirGarage today.

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