Let’s face it! The parking industry we know today mostly stands behind the retail, hospitality, and entertainment businesses as an auxiliary service. Unlike the past parking garages that offered frilly services like a fully-attended valet, vehicle maintenance, fuel checks, driver comfort facilities, etc. today’s facilities are by and large designed for efficiency – easy in and out. Therefore, experts say that a novel concept will soon rise out of our urban dwellings in the form of mobility centers.
These centers will require a novel business model, a futuristic appearance, a commitment to smart parking technologies, and other innovative ideas that enhance customer engagement. Owners of existing parking garages can physically modify their lots to build mobility centers that boast shared ownership and autonomy. Let’s find out how.
Transformation of Parking Garages Into Urban Mobility Centers
With modern technological advancements, many parking facilities are already utilizing automated parking assists, payment collection systems, and app-based technologies. However, most garages are primarily employed for parking cars and are not repurposed for multiple uses. If you study the parking industry, a clear majority of garages are self-park facilities with fixed or dynamic pricing that have been designed to maximize parking efficiency.
However, if parking lot owners look closely, they would see many glaring issues with this industry. For instance, one of them is that it still goes by a “one size fits all” policy. In contrast, visitors seek variety and personalization in product offerings tailored to the vehicles they drive. Therefore, mobility centers are the “garages” of the future, and they will make people notice parking the same way Uber altered the way citizens regarded the taxi industry.
What Will Mobility Centers Offer?
Besides what parking lots do today, mobility centers will offer a host of valuable services to drivers discussed below.
Do you need to pre-book a parking slot for your night out at a theatre, restaurant, sports arena, etc.? The closest parking slot will likely be just a click away through an application on your smartphone. The story doesn’t end here! Say you drive a luxury sedan or a pick-up truck or a hatchback. Given the size of your vehicle, you can even request an extra-wide space so that parking comfortably is one less thing you worry about.
Staying out all night meeting friends or closing business meeting? If so, then avail your taxi at the mobility center. Companies offering ride-sharing facilities cannot encroach curb space in cities and airports forever without severe traffic congestion. This is where mobility centers can provide drivers with a place to park, rest, refuel, recuperate, and meet-up with riders. In exchange, these centers can charge their fee rolled into the ride-share transaction.
Most mobility centers will generate revenue from vehicle-sharing, subscription services, and other density parking programs. This arrangement will lead to parking robots (mechanical system engineered to reduce the area required for parking vehicles) park optimally, thus offsetting the inefficiencies created by premium self-park spaces or pre-booked slots.
Cars of the near future will run on alternative technologies – mostly electric, which will require charging. A mobility center will be a place where visitors can access rapid chargers before they drive home. A quick car-wash will also be on offer while your car is parked at the mobility center.
Last Mile Commute Options
Mobility centers will become the ultimate links to cities. How? By offering short distance, autonomous shuttles, electric shared bikes, bike valet services, etc. that link a commuter to the last mile of their journey.
As you can see, mobility centers will offer an expanded menu of conveniences and be multimodal hubs. Therefore, they will fittingly require a diverse revenue model. Traditional parking garages charge fees based on different times of day with a premium for parking on weekends. Mobility center operators will monetize every aspect of services offered in varied capacities for all types of visitors. The parking industry has a unique opportunity to transform the way commuters use parking spaces, and mobility centers are it!