Lyft and Uber — No real threat to Parking


Lyft and Uber — No real threat to Parking

I interviewed Jerry Skillett, CEO of ICON Parking and five other parking companies on the east coast. It was a wide ranging interview and will be in an upcoming issue of PT.
One of the most interesting questions was the affect of Uber and Lyft on our industry.
Jerry’s answer — not so much.
He said that the ride sharing companies have affected off airport parking operations in some cities, but usually in those cities where the airport is located near the city center. In municipalities where the airport is miles outside of town (Washington DC, New York’s JFK, Dallas, Houston George Bush) the benefits of taking Uber aren’t so great. He noted that parking operations “touch” Uber and Lyft in only a couple of very small areas. The first is folks who rent cars and need a place to park them, and the second is hotels, where people have been moving from rental cars to ride share companies.
“Our experience has been that the affect on our company by Uber and Lyft has been minimal, if at all. But then, we have a business model that differs from many parking operations. Our goal isn’t necessarily to fill the garage, but to set our marketing to maximize revenue.”
Jerry is a smart guy — you will find the interview interesting and thought provoking…


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John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I keep hearing people talking about how Uber and Lyft are going to completely change the dynamics of our population’s mobility, but I really can’t see where their impact is going to influence anything beyond the operations of existing vehicle for hire services (taxis, limo services, etc.). If those current services embrace the technology that Uber and Lyft are utilizing then even that impact could be minimal.

    If anything is going to impact parking operations on a day to day basis it seems like telecommuting would be an area to put your focus. We’re seeing a significant shift in parking space occupancy during business hours with companies that give their employees the option of telecommuting, whether it’s one day a week or multiple days.

    The other area that seems to be gaining some market share is good old-fashioned, low-tech car pooling/ride share among employees. Where telecommuting only impacts specific days, car pooling impacts every day.

    There is no doubt that as technology advances there will be major changes in the ways we need to manage and operate parking facilities, but Uber and Lyft don’t appear to me to be the “game changers” that some are predicting (you can throw self-driving cars in to that category as well).

    I may be wrong, but I just don’t see it.

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