How smart tech improved Subiaco’s bottom line
There are many separate components that can be employed to deliver a paid parking site for a Council or Authority. Payment terminals, infringement handhelds, compliance teams, data analysis and reporting, vehicle monitoring devices, and even customer service can all be upgraded and streamlined to improve their efficiency, but a true ‘smart city’ goes further – it unifies all of these isolated processes via a single back-end management system.
Duncan’s Parking Enterprise Management System (PEMS) has been developed specifically to provide civic entities and authorities with high level ‘dashboard’ overviews, comprehensive reporting, and in-depth analysis of their parking occupancy, availability and compliance through a hosted user interface.
A recent convert to the PEMS system is the City of Subiaco. We spoke with the City’s Commercial Parking Coordinator, Jeremy Graf.
The project: Keeping parking smart
“We used to have 70 parking payment machines – dumb machines, we used to call them,” Jeremy explains.
“They couldn’t report to a cloud-based system, they couldn’t provide statistical information, they couldn’t interact with a lot of different payment methods. We also only had machine uptime of around 70 per cent, with regular maintenance required and the processes taking hours or days.”
To address this and help Subiaco meet its goals for efficiency, better service and an improved user experience, Duncan delivered:
- The AutoISSUE infringement issuance system (on Android devices linked to Bluetooth printers).
- A cost effective upgrade of the City’s old existing Cale parking machines.
- An implementation of more new Duncan parking machines, bringing the total number in the city to 82.
- Comprehensive maintenance and customer service availability.
- A license plate recognition vehicle to monitor and analyse parking behaviour.
- A single back-end database that links and reports on all of these functionalities through the cloud.
The results: A faster, more efficient Subiaco
Since winning the tender and upgrading the City of Subiaco’s parking management, Duncan Solutions has made tangible improvements to the way the council operates.
“Maintenance is a big one for us – while terminal uptime used to be 70 per cent, since using Duncan Solutions we’ve gone up as high as 99 per cent. They’re proactive and fast responders, and are constantly upgrading machine parts. This means that we’re fielding far fewer customer complaints and losing less money due to terminal breakdowns – we’re also spending 70 per cent of what we used to spend on fixes,” Jeremy added.
“The efficiency on payment terminal interactivity is also excellent. We’re seeing 68 per cent of parking payments in a month made using credit cards, and about 60 per cent of those through PayWave – our terminals have to be working well to meet this consumer behaviour, and Duncan Solutions have made it happen.”
This extends to faulty payments – a critical issue for customer relations.
“With older machines, any double payment or mistake had to be processed by our team manually, and it caused a lot of problems for customers. Thanks to Duncan Solutions’ upgrades, terminals communicate directly with banks and resolve such issues nearly instantaneously,” Jeremy explained.
Beyond the numbers, having a more efficient parking system also influences driver behaviour. Jeremy noted that more consistently functioning parking terminals and higher ease of use brought more drivers to City of Subiaco parking than privately-owned spaces, while the transmission of data from terminals to a database gave them a comprehensive birds-eye view of exactly where, when and why drivers were choosing to park.
“It’s a really good setup – the systems have absolutely demonstrated their worth, to the point where we’re doing future modelling with the Duncan Solutions systems automatically included. We can rely on it, and want to continue doing so for the long-term.”