How parking is sold and incentives for other modes delivered is one of the key ingredients we have to understand in order to build a really enticing and dynamic transportation menu. Today almost all transportation costs choices we face are pretty static. We buy or lease or cars and pay monthly even if we don’t use them very much. At work, or at school many of us face a decision to buy a monthly parking pass or, if we're lucky, sign up for some kind of incentive of discount for carpoolers or transit users.
Underlying these choice is the assumption that people are mono-modal. But in fact, research shows that people are much more multimodal than we give them credit. By creating an ‘all or nothing’ choice transportation program makes it more difficult for those who drive to make gradual changes in their commuting patterns.
A dynamic transportation program structure allows users to drive when they choose, but creates meaningful incentives for each trip that is reduced. In a dynamic program, parking patrons pay per use and therefore save money for each day they don’t drive. When coupled with daily rewards for non-drive trips, this creates a powerful virtuous cycle in which users’ incentives are aligned with overall program goals to reduce single occupancy trips.
Until recently, the technology needed to manage dynamic transportation programs of large scale did not exist. Today it is possible and cost-effective to curate the various elements of a transportation and parking management system to support dynamic choices, daily parking and rewards for non-drive trips. A dynamic system is integrated from the user perspective --meaning all choices, costs, and rewards are accessible in one location through a single sign-on--and from the administrator perspective--meaning that a single portal connects to all necessary external data sources and services that are involved in administering the program.
In the following posts we will look at different ‘recipes’ for using Cost to create a dynamic transportation program that provides users with lots of mobility choices.