Request a Demo

Revolutionizing Parking Management: A Deep Dive into Free Flow Parking with Ben Montgomery

ArticlesIndustry News

Back in November 2023, Ben Montgomery, President of Premium Parking sat down with host Griffin Hamilton from the Modern Facilities Management Podcast. Together, they delve into the dynamic realm of free flow parking, exploring its transformative impact fueled by technology and the advantages associated with adopting gateless parking systems.

Ben, who has 15 years of industry experience, sheds light on the pivotal role played by the parking industry in American culture and cities. Acknowledging the staggering annual parking revenue of $180 billion in the United States alone, he highlights the surprisingly limited market share held by the four national parking operators, who make up only 20%.

Shifting Paradigms in Parking Management

Traditionally, the parking industry operated on a two-component market: operators and technology/equipment vendors. Parking facilities would contract with operators who provided human resources, while also dealing separately with technology and equipment providers, resulting in gated parking facilities.

The drawbacks of gated systems, including bottlenecks at entry and exit points, decline in customer experience, and costly repairs, have contributed to a decline in their industry presence. Ben states that we are “now starting to see some operators, like Premium, who are calling themselves ‘Parking Solutions Providers’ where they’re not just a management company for your facility, but they are also bringing a significant piece of the technology stack needed to operate it as well.” Seeking to streamline the parking experience, companies like Premium Parking have introduced gateless parking operations, eliminating the need for physical gates.

Gateless parking facilities mimic the experience of parking on the street. You see a sign to pay and follow the rules to submit your payment. Larger technology tailwinds have made gateless relevant at larger, more complex facilities. The biggest push for gateless comes from the adoption of mobile phones, cloud software, like AWS, that allow companies to build and deploy software cost effectively, and image recognition.

Advantages of Free Flow Parking

Get Out of the Hardware Game

By removing the physical gates from facilities, the repair expenses and associated labor costs are reduced significantly. Instead of having to incur the cost of expensive repairs and dealing with the tribulations of a gated environment, facility owners can be at ease knowing the daily problems experienced before adopting the gateless way are effectively eliminated.

Get Out of the Queuing Game

Premium Parking has observed that there is a violator rate of less than 2% in a gateless parking environment, as more individuals choose them to avoid bottlenecks. This eliminates entry and exit bottlenecks, enhancing the overall customer experience. In Ben’s words, “Now, with gateless, there is no bottleneck at the entry and the exit. Now, it happens once you get into the parking spot. We’ve moved from a dependent system where you can’t get in or out of the facility until the person in front of you has accomplished it; to an independent system, where the focus is placed on each customer’s individual compliance.”

Geographical Zoning

Free flow parking allows nuanced policy creation without the need for gated nesting areas. Premium Parking's introduction of Star Spaces, with premium rates for advantageous spots, adds value and drives revenue.

Ease of Implementation

The simplicity of signs, software, and policies makes gateless parking cost-effective and less complex. Proper signage ensures customer compliance, while software implementation addresses violators, and tailored policies enhance the overall parking experience.

For a deep dive into these concepts, listen to Ben's full episode on the Modern Facilities Management Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

Join our mailing list.