Smart Parking - Enforce or Encourage?

The case of Treviso, Italy

The management of on street and off street parking inside the municipality of Treviso was already extremely well run and was monitored and supervised by an attentive parking enforcement department, in fact, the average receipts per parking space already amounted to € 1098 per year, more than double the national average which stands at around € 500/year/parking bay.

The real problem for the authority was not the economic aspect, but the excessive traffic and the scarce availability of parking in urban areas. For this reason, it was considered appropriate to use smart parking technology to affect urban mobility linked to parking.

In 2010, Treviso embarked on a technological path, installing Smart Parking Systems® in the historic centre, with the long-term goal of improving mobility, air quality and services for citizens. Within a few years of the installation of Smart Parking Systems® it has been possible to realize how the improvement objectives towards mobility, the environment and services have already been achieved. But it is equally surprising to find an economic increase in constant growth, up to +60% in 6 years.

This growth in revenue has not been due to an increase in fines, but by a decrease in evasion and a better use of the service, without weighing heavily on citizens, who instead see an increase in services and can live in a city with regulated traffic in an extremely efficient way.

The percentage of parked vehicles and drivers who pay for parking has increased: this is also due to the introduction of the new branded Parking App, which allows complete management of parking by the user, including guided navigation to the closest parking space inside the area of interest.

The practicalities of a smart parking system rely on three basic components, a sensing device, installed in the parking bay, either on street or off street, or a camera monitoring these bays utilising advanced video analytics to determine use.

The payment system, be that through a smartphone app, telephone or parking meters and a back office management system, for payments, enforcement and reporting functions. All of these components must come together in order to provide a flexible and reliable system for the owner, operator and user.

The economic benefits of Smart Parking Systems® represent an important opportunity for every authority: with an increase in revenues it is possible to develop new services, improving mobility, road infrastructure and the urban fabric, while establishing a virtuous circle which can represent the real key to transforming a city into a smart city.

In this historical period, post COVID-19, in which many authorities have seen parking revenues drop significantly, which in turn impacts services, we must necessarily manage the best available resources, investing in a system that can guarantee important existing revenues and secure potentially lost revenues is not a factor to be neglected.

Not only are there the financial benefits of the Smart parking System, but other additional benefits for the whole community, which are harder to quantify, financially, but have an impact on the lives of residents, as the system is able to reduce the number of cars in circulation searching for a parking space, therefore reducing traffic and pollution.

Below is some data provided by the EPA (European Parking Association) which shows some of these benefits.

Wasted Time

The search for a parking space very often requires a large amount of our time, which we will be able to invest differently:

  • we lose from 10 to 39 minutes/day;

  • we lose from 60 to 237 hours/year;

  • we lose from 2,5 to 10 days/year.

Environmental costs

It is estimated that at least 30% of urban pollution is created by the traffic of cars in circulation in search of a free parking bay, with increasingly higher environmental and social costs.

Negative consequences

Searching for free parking places can cause a lot of stress and can also involve unpleasant consequences in our daily lives:

44% of people said they missed an appointment;

20% of drivers confessed to have argued with other people.

Economic costs Looking for free parking places also entails significant economic costs:

  • about 98 euro/year extra are inserted in the parking meters and not used;

  • around 310 euro/year/car of diesel are spent on the search for free parking bays.

If you want to know more about #SmartParking, then please contact me at or take a look at our website and book an online appointment to chat through some of the options and solutions we can help you with.

#smartcities #NBIoT #sensor #airpollution #traffic #LocalGov

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