Parking Industry’s Vision of the Future from Gen X and Gen Y


Parking Industry’s Vision of the Future from Gen X and Gen Y

Learning is fun! As are passionate conversations. And from a perspective of Generation X and from the view of Millennials, we must learn, communicate, think anew and step up our game. And most of all, we must collaborate. 

Yes, data is the new oil, yet how do we use it and share it? Garages: How do we adjust our assets for the arrival of autonomous vehicles? Richard Simpson of Park Plus Systems talked about the city of Calgary building a garage that is retrofitted and can be used in the future. Devin Patel of Passport stated that Uber and Lyft are buying lots of assets to have a center location for parking their cars. Thus, these garages and parking lots are of huge value now and in the near future. 

Last Month at PIE, I was fortunate to attend one of the best seminars that the event has ever brought us. It was a Parking Industry’s Vision of the Future from Gen X and Gen Y. 

From the beginning, Devin and Richard get the packed to the capacity room engaged in their presentation by inviting each of us to participate. The session, thanks to these two, was an enthusiastic and fun discussion.

The seminar began with a humorous animated movie about Richard and Devin. At our Parking Today Temecula group, JVH asked those participating what the future of parking will look like. These two fellows brought the crystal balls primed at the Temecula Group to Chicago and asked us to think outside of the box. To come from vision and not just circumstances. 

We were asked to consider our areas of interest. EVs and their effect on parking and cities or shared economy services; and how they affect us, how they affect transit, curb space and the decision making of vendors and cities. MaaS, Curb Side Management and Autonomous Vehicles were a part of discussion. 

Devin Patel noted that the curb is one of the most sought-after pieces of real estate. He pointed out that we have Uber, Lyft, private cars, scooters and bikes and they all need to park someplace. He stated that in the future these parking spots will become dynamic and billed by the minute with each mode having a different price point. 

How do we manage the curb? How do cities get involved? Devin encouraged all of us “to think in the big way.” He said that the curb parking of the future won’t be just a parking spot, but the incubator for that area of the city. 

Richard, working both for the city and a private vendor, mentioned that cities are slow to move forward yet the shared curb space is happening. Traffic and congestion were brought up by one of the audience members. How do Uber and Lyft affect parking and transit? Transit is expensive for the cities. Uber and Lyft operated by private companies is cheaper. And yes, according to Devin, Uber and Lyft have increased traffic in NYC by 10 percent. Could ride sharing solve the transit problem? 

How do we manage curb side and how do we manage the roads? We were told that there has to be some public policy that regulates where Uber and Lyft can park, pick up and drop off. Devin talked about Passport’s Pilot program with Lyft and how public agencies can go into partnership with private companies to create first mile/last mile solutions.

Both Richard and Devin were passionate about data sharing. 

How do we acquire wisdom how to use this data? Devin suggested that even though there is a ton of data out there, there is no centralization of data and no sharing. Richard mentioned his city of Calgary where they share data, yet they are still unable to share it with other cities. 

We were told that there has to be some public policy that regulates where Uber and Lyft can park, pick up and drop off.


Both agreed that there must be governing agencies involved in this sharing process. According to Devin, cities are moving in this direction but are they moving fast enough? Los Angeles has just named its first data officer. Yet, how do the cities monetize the assets of data? They emphasized that the vendors can help cities with data. The data conversation and engagement are a must. Consultants can be of assistance here. 

Devin mentioned that there are organizations out there such as National Association of City Transportation Officials, that can advise cities on what do with data and more. Just finding out about NACTO was itself worth a price of admission. Devin brought up an example, the city of Miami, “City Innovate,” as their transportation city model. In the future, other cities can emulate Miami’s playbook, the first of its kind thanks to collaboration of Passport and the city of Miami. 

Partnerships are the key for the future of smart city movement. And how do we innovate and integrate? “If you don’t integrate you will die,” Devin said. Richard focused on transparency and creating more benefits that liabilities. LPR was discussed and how in the past it created “big brother is watching” fear. Yet, according to these two, Google is watching already. 

Be it Devin’s subscription model vision or Richard’s ownership of assets, the future is happening now. And these two started a great conversation that gave each audience member a new perspective. I can’t wait to see them again at our annual Temecula Group in October. Who knows what JVH will ask us to ponder and who knows what Devin and Richard will come up with? So, next year, during PIE 2019 these two can dust off their crystal balls and lead us to thinking and acting anew. Because sharing is caring indeed. 

Astrid Ambroziak is Editor of She can be reached at

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Astrid Ambroziak
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