Here is Our Story: The Perfect Garage Parking Experience
Temecula Parking Group
A discussion held at the Temecula Parking Group
A driver gets into the vehicle, starts the engine and the car now starts looking for an appropriate garage based on the GPS coordinates previously entered by accessing the vehicle’s history of Conformational Commerce.
The vehicle and driver proceed to the garage location. Upon arrival, the driver is greeted by a parking ambassador, the entrance is clean and easily accessible with curbs painted, the exterior free of trash; the signage is clear, readable and identifiable, and the lanes are clearly marked.
The O/O is responsible for the overall experience being repeatable, predictable, reliable and pleasant.
The vehicle and driver proceed through the entrance lane, the PARC system acknowledges the presence of the vehicle and anticipated payment is pre-calculated.
Within the garage, there is provisioning of spaces. LEFE, EV stations, ADA Accessible, and specialized spaces (Porsche and Lexus) within the garage. These spaces are clearly indicated, and the vehicle drives past them as this is not the intended space. Parking fees within the garage are dependent on the decision on where the driver wants to park. Zone parking – closer versus cheaper.
As the vehicle heads toward the desired space, the signage is clear, the garage is well lit, the levels are painted and each level is clean and well maintained. The spaces are clearly marked and the driver proceeds to pull into a space on the upper level where parking is cheaper as indicated on the sign.
The driver exits the car, the directional signage to his final destination assists with determining whether to walk up or down the ramp based on the information provided. The driver proceeds to the elevator located on level 7, indicated by the color orange and by the Oriole Bird painted on the wall. There are garage locator cards if the driver prefers to take one as a reminder. The driver enters the elevator, the air conditioning is on and music is lightly playing. All the while, the driver’s cell phone has sync’d to exactly where the vehicle is parked for the driver's return to the garage.
After a few hours, the driver returns to the garage, the cell phone indicates where the vehicle is located and the driver starts the car remotely (to cool off the interior). The driver proceeds down the ramps to the lower level and the PARC system acknowledges the car and processes the fee accordingly, all through the use of the vehicle’s automation (Bluetooth) system (or cell phone virtual payment).
The facility’s owner/operator has an important role to make all of this happen. The O/O is responsible for the overall experience being repeatable, predictable, reliable and pleasant. The experience must flow smoothly from the beginning – when a driver is trying to locate a garage; in the middle – when the driver is in the garage; to the end – when the driver is leaving the garage. There are 1,000 things behind the scenes that the driver does not need to see happening and does not need to know about. The garage operation should be wide ranging, including the customer demographics and what the customer needs are. From designing a new garage with access and egress, signage and lighting, to retrofitting a garage to update it to the latest technology, the expectation from the customer should be clear and concise.
Angela Hall, MBA is Assistant Director Parking and Transportation Services, University of Maryland, Baltimore. She can be reached at Angela.Hall@umaryland.edu