Post pandemic parking trends
By Stuart Norman, CEO Parking Australia
Having read all the submissions for the 2021 Parking Industry Awards, I started to wonder – is it time to rewrite the textbooks on parking? There are some outstanding entries across all seven categories with a number showing the ability to adapt, given the circumstances that have arisen over the past year or so.
The pandemic has, and will, change the way and the frequency in which people travel and move. While this trend was occurring prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has now accelerated enormously. Frogparking undertook a study into the effects that COVID-19 was having on transportation and mobility in California. You can view their report here: Parking, Mobility, and Transportation in the Post-Pandemic World; a White Paper by Frogparking.
California is a great case study given that they have a similar number of registered cars, and they now have 62% of their population fully vaccinated. While Australia’s public transport network is more patronised than in California, we did see earlier this year that congestion had increased in some Australian capital cities but not in our CBDs.
As lockdown eases in Melbourne and Sydney comes out of lockdown in the coming weeks/months, it will be interesting to monitor transportation trends in the short term. In the longer term, when the country increases the proportion of vaccinated people, we will no doubt be able to make more educated decisions.
As such, Parking Australia will be seeking funding from governments to undertake research into people’s transportation habits and their expectations in terms of parking.
While the country is frustrated about the speed of vaccinations and lockdowns, it will provide many industries such as ours, the ability to analyse overseas trends and glean how we think those trends will apply to Australia.
What we do know, is the price of used cars has risen significantly, due to increasing demand as the supply of new cars is tight. All this leads to an increase in the number of registered cars in Australia and, as such, an increase in the demand for parking. However, where that demand will be is difficult to forecast.
Therefore, looking back at past parking policies, strategies and trends might be like looking at another planet. The quicker we, as an industry, can access and rewrite the textbooks, the better we and the motoring public will be.
PACE 2021 – Refer three non-members and receive a free delegate registration
At this stage we are looking to continue with PACE being held in October. Obviously, we will be monitoring the situation in NSW closely. In time, we are seeking your help to encourage those from outside the parking industry to attend. Whether they be councils, property owners, hospitals, universities, retail, or other government agencies, we’d like you to promote PACE to your network.
To encourage you to do so, Parking Australia will provide members with a free delegate registration for every three non-member referrals that register. In order to manage this, we will be asking non-members to provide the name of who referred them when they register.
We’ll have further information on this in the coming weeks, which we hope you will distribute to your employees and network of customers. If your organisation has already registered, we will be happy to credit you upon the registering of those who you’ve referred.