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The #1 Commuter Parking Management Strategy

Use this proven method to boost the effectiveness of your commuter parking management

Parking demand can cause major problems in the workplace, especially if your commuter base is heavily reliant on single-occupancy vehicles. However, by implementing a single strategy, you can massively improve your approach to commuter parking management. This winning strategy is known as parking cash-out.

Here’s how these highly successful programs work:

Parking cash-out is an ideal option for businesses that provide employees with subsidized or no-cost parking. The business begins by calculating its daily per-vehicle parking rate. Then, offer employees who drive to work a choice: take a cash payout, or use your parking spot. The payouts can be calculated and distributed on a weekly or monthly basis, or processed along with payroll.

For businesses that rent their parking facilities, figuring out the daily per-vehicle rate is easy: just divide your total parking costs by the number of spots you rent, then compute down to a daily figure. Companies that own their own parking facilities can estimate daily costs by adding up construction, operation, and maintenance costs associated with their parking lots, then dividing by the number of parking spots it holds. That figure can then be annualized, or broken down into quarters, months, weeks, or days.

Studies have shown that if you’re going to use only one commuter parking management strategy, this is the one to try. Parking cash-out programs can reduce parking demand by as much as 45 percent.

This strategy works because it gives commuters an immediate, tangible incentive not to drive to work. Most commuters that have access to free or low-cost parking don’t think much about what it costs the company. Offering them a cash payout in exchange for their parking spot will make the commuter feel as though he or she stands to lose something by continuing to solo-drive to work.

Companies can achieve long-term savings by sharply reducing the amount of parking they need to rent, or earn additional revenues by renting unused spots to other individuals or businesses. It’s a classic win-win situation that is well worth a try if you’re a facilities manager for a business struggling to figure out how to manage steep employee demand for costly parking.

RideAmigos is the perfect commuter management platform for implementing a parking cash-out program. Empower your employees to make smarter transportation choices like ridesharing, biking, and transit. Track commuting patterns. Incentivize preferred behaviors. All within one powerful system.

Get started with the commuter management pros at RideAmigos to learn how you can implement a parking cash out program.

Why Are We Here?

Why ARE we here? Why does the field of commuter management matter? Why is RideAmigos so excited about transforming commuter behavior?

In just one minute, CEO Jeffrey Chernick tackles this all-important question at the recent Association for Commuter Transportation conference in Portland:

The reason why we’re doing this, the reason why I’m doing this, is because we’re shifting commuter behavior to create a better planet.

We’re all in this for the same reason, and by shifting commuter behavior we’re actually clearing the roads!

We’re getting people to take healthier routes to work, whether it be a bike, or a walk, or a Zipcar, or a Lyft line, or an uberPOOL. There are so many new ways to get around.

If people are motivated to do and try something new, we’re actually going to make a major difference in the world. And that’s a big deal! That means cleaner air for our children, that means lower energy consumption for our culture and our land use, and it just goes into so many facets of our lives.

If we decide to commute smarter the world is an actual better place and we’ll live here longer.

It’s almost necessary. We don’t have a choice in it anymore. We have to do it!

The transportation industry today – including ACT and RideAmiogs – we’re here to do this, and it’s pretty profound to be here for it.

Interested in finding out how your organization can make a difference? Take our 2-question survey and receive a free commuter program analysis:

Free Program Analysis

RideAmigos Featured with Transportation Techies

Here at RideAmigos we’re not just interested in selling our software – we’re excited to be part of a global movement that is transforming the way people think about and use transportation.

A recent example of how RideAmigos works alongside other forward-thinking leaders in our industry was featured by The Washington Post:

A digitally promoted slug line could whisk commuters from Woodbridge to Tysons by making use of high-occupancy vehicle lanes. D.C. commuters headed in similar directions could save time and money by piling into the same car. And car owners could rent out their vehicles to make a little extra money when they weren’t using them.

These were some of the ideas pitched at “Playing with Traffic,” a meetup of coders, entrepreneurs, urban planners and transit professionals and enthusiasts collectively known as “Transportation Techies.”

Members of the 1,700-participant group meet monthly at gatherings sponsored by Mobility Lab, the research arm of Arlington County’s commuter services program. The most recent meetup focused on how the sharing economy could improve commuting.

Unlike the door-to-door model popularized by Uber and Lyft, the giants of the industry, true ride sharing “is to try to encourage people to share” …

Read the full article to learn about the cutting-edge ideas that were part of this meet-up, including a presentation by our own Prachi Vakharia, RideAmigos Engagement Director. Prachi shared our expertise and experience with promoting ridesharing during special events and through challenges like bike to work week, both of which are proven methods for increasing long-term rideshare usage and participation.

Tech Tools to Solve the Parking Crunch

Parking is a major cause of traffic congestion and urban air pollution. How can technology help?

It’s a problem that practically every city dweller is familiar with: reaching a destination, only to find there’s nowhere to park.

A recent research project compiled by University of California-Los Angeles professor Donald Shoup found that it can take the average driver up to 14 minutes to find a parking spot. As much as 74 percent of parking congestion in major urban centers results from drivers looking for parking.

Clearly, parking is a major contributor to urban traffic and pollution problems. In searching for solutions, individual drivers and municipalities, businesses, and universities can take advantage of new technological tools to make parking easier, faster and more efficient.    

A Great Start – Smarter Parking

San Francisco – The SFPark system  is one of the most successful examples of dynamic, technology-based solutions to parking challenges. Interfacing directly with the city’s parking infrastructure, SFPark tracks availability in real time, alerting users to parking garages that have the greatest number of available spaces. Drivers can head straight to where the parking is, rather than wasting time and fuel searching for a spot.

Boston – In Boston’s south end, similar technology is in use. A new app, called the Parker, displays parking availability information in real time, and also delivers turn-by-turn directions to drivers.

Minnesota – A recent collaboration between the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies and MnDOT uses cameras to automatically detect parking available at truck stops. Real-time data is made available through the web, electronic road signs, and even in-cab messaging.

Sydney – The city of Sydney has developed its own unique take, designed for commuters who drive into the city for work. There, drivers can use an app developed by parking company Divvy to find vacant spaces available for rent in buildings. Commuters can save hundreds of dollars a month by renting a spot instead of paying for street parking, all while eliminating congestion.

Even Better – Reduce the Need

Making the most efficient use of available parking is an important step, but an even more effective route is reducing the need for parking by making it easier for people to carpool, bike, walk, or take public transit .

Transportation demand management software, like RideAmigos, can both integrate with parking infrastructure and help eliminate the need for parking altogether. Through powerful trip planning tools and highly customizable incentive programs, our platform helps users take advantage of the many available alternatives to driving.

For more great content like this, sign up for our Commuter Tips emails.

Photo Credit: Steve Morgan

Top 4 Ways to Engage Commuters for Bike to Work Week

May is National Bike Month, and Bike to Work Week is right around the corner – May 16-20. Getting people excited about this event is a great way to help change how they think about commuting. Here are four creative ways to encourage greater levels of local participation:

Launch a Challenge

Tapping into the spirit of competition is one of the most powerful ways to engage people. Challenges give participants an added incentive to put forth their best effort, and few things are more rewarding than seeing hard work pay off in the standings.

Incentivize Bike to Work Week by making challenge winners eligible to claim prizes. See the clash of wills heat up as the race intensifies, all for a positive cause.

Organize a Bikepool Group

Organize a Bike to Work week cycling group to give those who feel safer riding with others a place to engage. Bikepools are ideal for experienced cyclists who want to share tips with newbies and for first-time or inexperienced riders who want to be part of a team.

Help your existing bike commuters to connect with their neighbors, form a group, and share the bike-to-work love!

Discover New and Interesting Routes

Bicycling is a great way to explore your city from a different perspective. Take a scenic path through a park or along a river. Follow a journey plan through a historic or artistic quarter. Find the best streets for biking.

Encourage Bike to Work Week participants to discover and share unique, little-known and interesting alternate routes to get to and from work.

Suggest Multimodal Options

People who have long commutes often feel like they can’t take part in Bike to Work Week. Suggesting ways to combine biking with other modes of transportation might change their mind.

More and more municipalities are working to make combining cycling with public transit a viable option for commuters. Buses and commuter trains are being outfitted with bike racks. Major stations and transit hubs offer secure, low-cost, or free on-site bicycle storage. Let your longer-distance commuters know about these possibilities so they can bike, too!

Try some of these ideas to engage your commuters during bike to work week and who knows – cycling might even become a habit!


For more great ideas from the RideAmigos team be sure to sign up for our Commuter Tips email newsletter.

Hacking the Corporate Commuting Dilemma

Corporate commuting trends are changing. Will your organization change with them?

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, commuters didn’t think too hard about their daily journeys. Every morning, they’d get in their cars and drive the same route to work. If there happened to be a lot more traffic than usual on the road that day…well, then the drive would take a little longer. If road improvements or construction shut down a lane or two along the most direct route to work…well, they’d manage. That’s just the way things go.

Not anymore.

Times are changing, and corporate commuters are changing with them. Reliance on single-occupancy vehicles is diminishing, and the general public’s awareness of the ecological impact of their transportation decisions is at an all-time high. Given these trends, it’s no surprise that experts are detecting significant changes in the way people get to and from work.

How RideAmigos Supports New and Progressive Corporate Commuting Solutions

The 2013 American Commuter Survey found that Generation X-ers and millennials are commuting by car less and less with each passing year. People in younger demographics are also taking public transit and walking to work with greater frequency than any other age group.

In cities like San Francisco, Boston and New York, the microtransit trend is making major headway. Privately operated mini-buses and ride shares are giving corporate commuters meaningful and convenient alternatives to mass transit and single-occupancy vehicles.

Businesses have a lot to gain by encouraging employees to seek out quicker, greener ways to get to work. Improved productivity is a big and obvious bonus, but there are also hidden benefits. One biggie is the fact that companies with a strong sense of social responsibility also tend to have higher rates of employee satisfaction – and that’s something that pays off in a big way, on and on down the line.

If you’d like to be a part of the corporate commuting revolution, the RideAmigos team can provide all the tools you need. Trip planners, journey loggers, incentive and benefit trackers, analysis tools, ride-sharing platforms – they’re all here. And they’ll all help you build a happier, healthier, more creative and more engaged workforce. Contact us to learn more.

Exploring New Technologies in Transportation

 

Ben Dalton is CTO and co-founder at RideAmigos. Through his experience, Ben has developed a passion for finding new ways to utilize technology to facilitate cultural improvements. He shares some insight on the multiple intersections of new transportation technologies.

Over the last 10 years, the world has experienced significant growth in the technology sector. Smartphones are changing the way we interact with the world through apps like Airbnb, Uber, Car2Go, etc., by making us think about common shareable resources. Companies like Tesla and Nissan are working to make electric vehicles attractive and viable because there is an existing and increasing demand for this service. Open Street Map (OSM) and other open data initiatives, together with open source projects, are serving as a foundation for all of the future’s advancements.

Ben highlights that a bright future is possible for the commuter. Useful technologies have already been developed, but there’s still a lot of work ahead.

  • Electric Vehicle Technology
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • iBeacons
  • Wearables
  • GPS
  • Cellular Data
  • Open Source
  • Open Data
  • Dynamic Dispatching
  • Interconnected Transit Operations

Watch Ben’s video for a look into the future and how collaboration between these technologies can easily reduce traffic congestion, our carbon footprint, and every day transportation struggles!

“Technology isn’t about any one given killer app; It’s about combining these open source projects, open data, new technology, new interfaces, and new modes. So as you go out into the world… start looking at the things around you and saying what can we do that would be different and exciting?”

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