The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses across all industries, and the effects will continue to last for years to come. The car parking industry is not an exception and has been equally affected by the pandemic. The parking industry is reeling from the reverberations of the COVID-19 pandemic. The drastic decrease in parking demands is devastating to many car parks.
Therefore, it has become imperative for car park operators to explore different management solutions for their sites to adjust to the changing market. They must consider the changing visitor preferences and ensure the safety of their staff. Let’s discuss some of the changes to the parking industry brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
a) Increased Focus on Frictionless Parking
To avoid spreading the virus, people are now focusing on social distancing and minimal common touchpoints. The parking industry faces difficulty ensuring users’ safety because of various touchpoints. However, with the introduction of automated car parking solutions, the need for human intervention has decreased. As a result, there is a significant reduction in parking facilities’ health and safety concerns.
Frictionless parking allows car park operators to control parking from a mobile application. With such an app, customers can easily reserve a parking spot. Using ANPR, customers can check-in at the entrance or exit without slowing down as the gate opens automatically with contactless payment. It eliminates the need for tickets, cash exchanges at pay stations and swiping a credit card. Additionally, hands-free parking solutions will benefit hygiene-conscious commuters and improve convenience in car parks.
b) Boost in Contactless Payments
With the Coronavirus pandemic, people are shifting from cash to digital. There has been swift growth in the demand for contactless parking payments. Besides e-wallet payment options, people use cards and other contactless payment options to minimize touchpoints and contact with employees. Contactless options can help customers limit contact between people, avoid queues and enable motorists to maintain safe social distancing. Hence it reductions the risk of spreading the virus within the car park.
c) Emphasis on Cleaning
Hygiene and cleanliness have become a significant concern to customers. Before COVID-19, it was a background process, with minimal interruptions of the customers. However, with COVID-19 public health measures, car park operators pay more attention to the car parks’ hygiene. Customers are also looking for visible signs that the parking operators comply with hygiene recommendations.
To show that hygiene and sanitization are a priority, parking facilities must incorporate measures given below:
- Proper sanitization of the car park
- Regular cleaning and disinfection of the parking facility.
- Encouraging the use of automated car parking solutions.
- Providing waste bins for the safe disposal of masks and gloves.
In addition, car parks need to develop effective cleaning programmes such as training employees to minimize the spread of contagions in car parks. Maintaining a clean environment will provide parking operators with a competitive edge.
d) Changes in Parking Preferences
Before COVID-19, many drivers were unsure of intelligent parking systems, and some still relied on cash payments and tickets. However, with the pandemic, the utilization of innovative solutions has been increased. Many people are embracing automatic parking and contactless payments. Looking at the behavioural shift in consumers, car park operators need to install smart parking solutions in their premises.
Vehicle owners who previously utilized valet parking are now willing to drive a few more metres to park the car themselves. This indicates that parking facilities have to make adjustments to accommodate self-parking. However, if the parking operators want to retain the valet services, they have to use personal protective equipment to prevent infection.
e) Decrease in Ridesharing
Before the pandemic, ridesharing and public transportation were popular travel options. However, due to the current scenario, people prefer to drive to minimize contact with strangers. The 70% decline in ridesharing rapidly increases the utilization of car parks. Therefore, parking operators should be prepared for high traffic in the short term. However, people may resume using public transport and ridesharing after situations get normal.
The pandemic has brought about irreversible changes to consumer behaviours. Parking facilities need to take forethoughtful steps in building their customers’ confidence. Smart parking provides parking facilities with a competitive edge during the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring safety and convenience.
How We Can Help You?
At Euro Parking Services, we offer a wide range of car park management systems tailored to the needs of your business. Our proficient team will help you manage your car park during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Our services include.
- ANPR System & CCTV Camera
- Cash for Land (Boost revenue using your idle land)
- Patrol Officer Services
- Pay and Display
- Road Surfacing and Line Marking