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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Applying Integrated ITS Technologies to Parking Management Systems: A Transit-Based Case Study in the San Francisco Bay Area


California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways has teamed with the California Department of Transportation, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District, ParkingCarmaTM, and Quixote Corporation to launch a smart parking research demonstration at the Rockridge BART station in the East San Francisco Bay Area (California, USA). The results of an extensive literature review demonstrate that different smart parking applications implemented worldwide can ease traveler delays, increase transit ridership, and reduce operator costs. Observational analyses at the station indicated that existing parking supply exceeded demand and thus smart parking technologies could be applied to optimize capacity and potentially increase ridership. Focus groups and surveys were conducted to gauge interest in and the design of smart parking services. Key results included: (1) significant commuter frustration with parking shortages and interest in smart parking services; (2); the importance of accurate parking counts and parking enforcement to ensure system reliability; and (3) the potential for greater transit use among users of smart parking services. The field test technology includes traffic sensors that count vehicles in and out of the parking lot; a central computer that calculates space availability; an advanced and en-route reservation system accessed via cell phone, telephone, PDA, and Internet; and real-time parking information displayed on changeable message signs located on an highway adjacent to the station.

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