Controlling parking access is a challenge not only for car park operators but also for urban planners. Parking space in busy areas is at a premium, as anyone who’s ever tried to park within a short walk of a city centre can attest. Parking solutions have to balance ease of use, revenue generation and traffic management.
One example of a system that successfully balances these factors is the pay and display parking machine. What is are pay and display machines and why should you consider them? The answer is simple.
Pay and Display Basics
Unlike a traditional parking meter, a pay and display machine covers multiple parking spaces. One or two machines can serve an entire row of street parking spaces or a floor of a multi-storey car park. The user pays a certain amount of money and receives a printed ticket that shows the expiry time for their parking space. Displaying the ticket on the vehicle’s dash or windshield wiper lets parking officers know when to issue citations.
In addition to coin slots, most modern pay and display machines allow multiple methods of payment, including credit card payments, banknotes and even payment using mobile devices. Some also include RFID card readers so that pass holders who don’t have to pay for parking — such as city vehicles or disabled drivers — can swipe their cards and be issued tickets. Although a pay and display machine is much more complex than a traditional meter, then, the experience of using it is much simpler.
Benefits of Pay and Display for Operators
Pay and display parking systems offer benefits for both operators and users. Operators benefit from both increased revenue generation and reduced costs. Because they accept more forms of payment, these machines make it easier for drivers to pay for parking and cut down on the risk that they will try to park without paying. Individual parking meters often leave unused credit when users overpay; subsequent drivers can use this credit without paying themselves. Because drivers take their tickets away when leaving, this is impossible with pay and display machines.
With all their features — and some are very feature-rich, featuring things like solar panels to provide eco-friendly power — pay and display parking machines can be expensive compared to individual parking meters. However, because they serve a large number of spaces, they’re more efficient as a solution for an entire car park. They also don’t require expensive access barriers, another cost-saving feature.
Simple Parking for Busy Drivers
The benefits of pay and display parking aren’t solely for the operator, though. Drivers get a lot out of these systems. Card and mobile payments mean no more rummaging for exact change, while the ticket system gives a clear reminder of the parking expiration time. The simple payment system and easy-to-use tickets mean that drivers don’t have to spend as much time finding or leaving parking spaces as they might with other Carparking Systems, keeping parking efficient in busy areas. Some pay and display machines can even notify drivers by phone, telling them when their tickets are about to expire.
Managing traffic flow
If it’s your job to keep traffic running smoothly, pay and display machines are an effective parking control system for large areas. While access barriers can slow traffic flow into and out of large car parks, creating long lines, drivers using pay and display machines park first and then pay. The machines also provide detailed records of transactions and parking times, data that operators can use to adjust their parking and traffic strategies.
Versatile, efficient and easy to use, pay and display machines are a great solution for both street parking and larger car parks.