DRIVING EFFICIENCY IN FREDERIKSBERG
Frederiksberg, the independent municipality which is part of the Capital Region of Denmark, is a beautiful area surrounded by the Copenhagen municipality. Even though it’s often seen as a part of the capital city, it still has its own mayor and council, and with that comes an ability to change and adapt quickly.
In recent years, Frederiksberg has suffered with traffic congestion. Part of this is down to the fact that around 100,000 people live in the area, but much of the traffic comes from those who work in central Copenhagen and park in this area of green spaces and residential roads.
The challenge for the council was to try and accommodate all of these drivers from outside of the area, as well as keeping the residents happy. No easy task, as the residents should be the priority, but the commuters also provide an opportunity to increase the income for the local government, so they can’t be ignored.
Historically, to solve these problems, the city council would have had to both increase the number of permits handed to residents, and install huge numbers of costly Pay & Display machines all over the area. However, thanks to the visionary team in Frederiksberg, this wasn’t the way they handled it.
Embracing the future
The parking industry resisted the advances in technology that have changed the rest of our world for a long time. In recent times though, councils and companies alike have been inspired by the advent of smart-cities and the Internet of Things. This is how Frederiksberg solved their parking problem.
They teamed up with EasyPark to implement a smart parking infrastructure, referred to as HUB. This is common database, and combines all aspects of parking in one place which gives Frederiksberg more control over traffic flows and parking, and gives the drivers more choice on how to pay, and more clarity on where to park.
This HUB combines so many working parts. There’s mobile paid parking, digital permits for current residents, cashless payment on Pay & Display machines, in-car park and pay, and even sensors in the ground which allow drivers to get real time information on where they can park their cars.
With all this in mind, implementation was a challenge in the beginning, firstly for the team in Frederiksberg to combine so many different components, and also for the drivers to get used to a whole new way of parking. Whilst it took some time to get used to, it wasn’t long before everyone embraced the new system. Poul Eldrup, a consultant for Frederiksberg Kommune, said “Now we hear no more criticism, and 94% of all parking tickets are paid for by phone.”
The HUB has been a real success story for everyone from the team in Frederiksberg to the residents to the commuters. The area only had to install 18 new Pay & Display machines instead of a previous projection of 900 to ensure those still looking to use traditional parking payment methods were still catered for, which meant a huge saving.
Not only that, but the total number of transactions related to parking saw a huge increase of around 50% in just a three month period. It shows that it’s more convenient for the users, and more financially viable for Frederiksberg itself.
The digitalisation of the parking system has, without a doubt, changed things in Frederiksberg for the better. Poul said “This implementation has resulted in many advantages. Administration and control have become much easier, and we can develop this more in the future. Users are really pleased with the service improvements too.”
This is all before you start to take into account the impact it has on congestion, and in turn the environment. The less time drivers are searching for a parking space, the less time their engines are running. This means less fuel burnt, and less harm to the environment. It also means there should be less traffic, as cars will be parked more quickly, so taking up less space on the roads.
Since Frederiksberg teamed up with EasyPark to implement this new, smarter way of parking, the benefits have been clear to see for everyone involved. The best news is that this isn’t an isolated example. It could work for any city, or any area, with the vision and the willingness to embrace the amazing advances we have seen in technology. The more places that take this step, the closer we get to the vision of a smarter, more convenient, more environmentally friendly future.