Parking, as a business has been in India for a long time albeit in an unorganized format. The country is already the third largest market in the world for automobiles and parking is directly linked to the automobile population, and infrastructure growth. “The market for parking is growing at 35% CAGR and so we believe there is ample scope for private players in this business” says N Sathyanarayanan, Managing Director, Central Parking Services (CPS) Pvt Ltd.
Parking management involves four key elements: – complete designs of the parking lots, supply and implementation of parking management systems, operating & manning of the parking lots and maintenance of the equipment. With the growth in the automobile industry, vehicles of all sizes are being parked in parking lots. Smart parking lot designs help optimise space and ensure that 15% more vehicles can be parked in the same space.
Parking in India continues to remain very labour-intensive. The most popular method is pay-on-exit, and the majority of parking systems use simple manual ticket issue at entry, with a flat rate for all-day parking and payments made in cash. Electronic handheld ticket-issuing machines are also becoming popular.
CPS has deployed Amano parking systems with magnetic stripe technology to manage 30,000 parking spaces across India. The company has India’s only parking command centre in Bangalore which connects every parking lot on IP and gives real-time access to traffic, revenues, live streamed video , and other business parameters to help make informed decisions.
“In Bangalore, we are also introducing a CPS 1 card, a prepaid RFID card which will make the entry and exit hassle-free and cashless. This can cause tremendous convenience in terms of change, exit time etc. Similarly, all our parking lots are insured to ensure that consumer and the vehicle are protected in the parking lots.
“Thankfully awareness about the importance of parking management is rising and today most developers understand the value of engaging a domain specialist in a critical service like parking and we are involved right from the conceptual stage giving our inputs at various stages to ensure proper designs”, says Satyanarayanan.
CPS has a team of parking professionals who are trained by the company to handle parking end-to-end. “There is automation to a great extent and we want to optimise manpower as much as possible in the near future. As of now, it is a healthy mix of manpower and systems that we use to manage parking lots across India.”
The company also plans to install cash-less based transaction system in all the parking spaces operated by CPS which will be accomplished through a pre-paid “smart-card” based system. The objective of the system is to setup a hassle free entry/exit, cash less transaction for users and define a new user experience. CPS One card can be used in all parking spaces operated by CPS. CPS One card will enable hassle free entry and exit as NO manual intervention is required.
The CPS card is a contactless smart card which can store up to 4 Kilobytes of memory. CPS deploy Mifare Plus cards which are embedded with a high level encryption algorithm leaving no room for any type of counterfeiting. The CPS one card can be re-charged through multiple options (online charging, mobile based (m-CheK), cash / credit card based recharging at the toll booths).
Users will be able to track the usage of the card online by logging into the CPS portal on a real time basis. Monthly statements will be generated and sent to the users e-mail address automatically. The first version was rolled out in April 2012.
CPS cards give vehicle owners hassle free entry and exit with no manual intervention. Customers also enjoy Customer Loyalty benefits. CPS One users will be able to use the card in different establishments like coffee kiosks and Rent a movie. Users will also be able to avail additional benefits like valet parking, free car parking, car wash on the points accumulated in the CPS card. An added advantage is that users can book parking space through the CPS One card.