Published : Tuesday, November 8, 2016 | 2:57 PM
The City of Pasadena has partnered with P3 Global Management who in turn partnered with Citifyd, a third-party technology developer to come up with a novel parking solution that instantly connects drivers with available parking spaces near their destinations, and even arranges for reduced parking fees for preferred customers.
The City and P3GM announced their contract in May of this year, becoming the country’s first public-private partnership to solve urban parking challenges through the shared economy and does not cost the municipality any taxpayer money.
P3 Global Management, P3GM for short, is a New York-based global smart city development company that develops public-private partnerships (P3s) and facilitates collaboration between municipalities and the private sector to launch innovative smart city projects.
Citifyd, based in Portland, Oregon, uses patented technology and methods to help drivers communicate and transact easily with parking providers and businesses.
Under the partnership agreement, the City of Pasadena has engaged P3GM to find a solution to the parking problem especially in commercial areas, and P3GM chose Citifyd to provide the technology that will allow private commercial parking space owners to list their unused and available spaces. Using the Citifyd mobile application, residents and visitors will then be able to book and pay for their preferred parking space.
With the platform, drivers can reserve their parking spaces before they leave their home, and will be navigated directly to their spot. This will avoid the congestion and traffic that is created by people circling looking for parking, which is estimated to generate about 30 percent of inner city traffic.
“Pasadena has been looking and measuring their parking ability and their parking problem for years now,” says Pedro Cabassa, Operations Manager at P3GM. “We started talking to them last year about ways that we could come in and bring in our platform in solving or alleviating this problem. Together with the City, we reviewed a bunch of solutions that were out there, and we really liked Citifyd, which is the solution that we ended up partnering with.”
Cabassa said Citifyd will use mobile apps that will integrate information about unused garages, which he said is abundant in Pasadena. The technology will also integrate with events happening in the city so drivers will find it easier to find parking even during events, which also abound in Pasadena.
Sohrab Vossoughi, Citifyd Founder and CEO, said the system will connect the parking owner or organization or company with those looking for parking spaces. The businesses set their rates and their hours, inputs the info into the app, and the driver is able to choose the best parking space close to his or her destination.
“They say parking is the problem, but people don’t really look for parking per se; they look for parking because they want to do something after they park,” Vossoughi said. “It is what they want to do after parking that is more important. What we have created is also a merchant application that is integrated into the system.”
The system also allows businesses to integrate a rewards system into the parking fees, where customers can collect points by the amount of purchases they’ve had in a store and reduce their parking fees at the business’ parking area.
“Dentists could do that and coffee shops could do that,” Vossoughi continued. “They can put their offers online in real time and inform customers of added parking perks, like ‘for every cup of coffee they get 50 cents off the parking fees’ and so on, or for every $20 expenditure, ‘we give you $2 off your parking fees.’”
Jeff Thomashow, Director of Project Develkopment at P3GM, said their goal is to “foster public-private partnerships that promote smart city innovation.”
“We chose Citifyd for its unrivalled potential to make everyday parking easier and more accessible, at no cost to the city of Pasadena,” Thomashow said.
Asked when Pasadena drivers and business could start using the app, Vossoughi said they are currently working with the private parking operators to bring their assets online. A soft launch may be done within two to three weeks, he said, and the system will be fully operational by Black Friday.