José Fenollosa
Director General
Meypar
/
Insight

Parking Efficiency and Innovation in Parallel

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:41

With much of Mexico City’s population facing long public commutes and poor transport links, many choose to travel to work by car. But this poses a problem since there are relatively few parking spaces in the city’s highly saturated business and financial districts.

Having identified this challenge, Meypar has developed a strategy to make the use of parking spaces smarter through IT. “It is necessary to reduce the number of both free and paid parking spaces to counter automobile dependency,” says José Fenollosa, Director General of Meypar. “But parking will always be a necessity and charging for it is a huge area of opportunity for innovation and business.”

The creation of more parking spaces in urban centers to meet demand poses a hurdle for urban mobility, public transportation competitiveness and production of affordable housing areas within the city. Meypar, a company that specializes in parking solutions such as high-tech, energy-efficient parking meters, attempts to both innovate in parking services and discourage the use of the automobile in urban centers. In Mexico City alone, the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) approximates the existence of 6.5 million parking spaces that incentivize the use of the more than 9.5 million automobiles that INEGI estimates circulate in the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area. Reducing the number of parking spaces will promote the use of public transportation systems and compel parking service companies to innovate.

Meypar sees charging parking fees as a key way to discourage the use of both parking spaces and automobiles. As Fenollosa explains, “Charging more for parking is one of the best ways to counter common urban issues like pollution and traffic as people will not use public transportation when it is easier and cheaper to drive and park.” The company also wants to develop a mobile app that will help reduce overoccupancy, traffic and waiting times in paid parking lots. Meypar expects this technology to make parking more efficient, not only

by pointing drivers to available parking spaces but also by letting them pay their parking fees from their cellphones.

There are two main challenges to creating smarter parking services. The first is Mexican users’ resistance to buy and adopt new technologies common to Smart Cities. The second is that developers are generally reluctant to cooperate with each other by sharing information as they do not like working with competitors. “Meypar needs to connect all mobility players through on- and off-street parking technology by integrating its products and services in a single multiservice platform,” says Fenollosa. “Our technology will enable operators to gauge parking demand to adjust fees accordingly and promote flow by preventing overoccupancy.”

Fenollosa trusts that Meypar can improve users’ parking experiences, yet there are several challenges that the parking services market needs to overcome. The public has a misconception that parking should be a free service while ignoring the costs behind it. “Parking fees are the only way shopping centers gain revenue from customers who visit without purchasing anything,” says Fenollosa. “These fees enable parking lots to provide security through video surveillance, maintain the installations and sometimes even install charging stations for electrical vehicles.”Through the implementation of parking solutions, Meypar looks forward to collaborating on several projects with large developers, such as GICSA, Fibra Uno, Liverpool and GDI, and bidding for projects in Santa Fe and Satelite."