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Parking Industry Expo Updates Awards Deadline; Sponsorships Going Fast

The Parking Today Awards will be presented at the Parking Industry Expo during a special breakfast honoring the awardees. Those wishing to nominate potential awardees are welcome to go to the PIE web site, pieshow.parkingtoday.com for full details. The deadline for entry has been extended to midnight February1, 2019. More than 50 nomination have been received to date.

Nominations may be made by individuals, organizations, or commercial entities. The process is not complicated and is free. Winners and finalists will be promoted not only at PIE but also in upcoming Issues of Parking Today.

Five simifinalists in each category will be announced in late February. The winners will be presented at a special breakfast at 9 AM on Tuesday March 12, immediately preceding the opening of the Exhibition floor.

Awards categories include Customer Service Excellence, Technical Innovation, Best New Parking Structure, Sustainability, and Lifetime Achievement. Sponsorships for three of the five categories have already been taken. Organizations interested in sponsoring should contact Marcy Sparrow at marcy@parkingtoday.com. The final list of sponsors will be announced the week of January 21, 2019.

The Parking Industry Expo is being held March 11-14, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Find it on line at pieshow.parkingtoday.com. Contact: Eric Abel, eric@parkingtoday.com or +1 310 390 5277 Ext 1

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Yikes – 24 Hours is All You Have To Hire the Best – Take Recruitment to the Next Level at PIE 2019

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced job growth of 312,000 positions in December.  Two sectors with notable growth included Food Service and Retail – industries that parking competes with for top talent.   This makes the need for speed in hourly talent acquisition efforts more important than ever.  Imagine yourself in a foot race with competing companies to get in front of and hire top candidates first.

Initial candidate screening and the interview process are common drag points that can slow down recruitment efforts allowing talent to slip away to the competition.  Speed things up with a few changes to the process:

  • Make initial contact with candidates via text instead of phone or email.  This often gets a faster response and the success rate at actually speaking with a candidate quickly for initial screening will increase exponentially.
  • Establish a group interview program, so you can evaluate more candidates simultaneously and eliminate rounds of interviews and time involved meeting with each candidate one on one.  A huge side benefit of this approach is that when done well, this process allows for a more authentic evaluation of each candidate.

During my presentation at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 12th I talk specifically about tactics you can use to improve your hourly workforce talent acquisition processes, so you can fill open positions and focus on other priorities in your business.  Join me for this interactive session and take your recruitment efforts to the next level!

24 Hours.  That’s it.  Top hourly candidates will only last in your pipeline this long once they apply if they don’t hear from you.  If hiring frontline associates is a challenge for your organization, then attending this session at PIE is a must!  I will share both strategy and practical tips on hiring practices to ensure your process is productive and yields finalists you want to hire.  I will show you easy, fast ways to promote your employer brand, interview for both technical skills and behavioral traits and evaluate the finalists so you hire the right talent every time.  At the end of this session, you’ll be able to immediately put in play those best practices that change the hiring challenge to opportunity!

Victoria L. Pero

Principal, Marlyn Group


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Not Vaporware, This is Reality

Arrive, teaming with P97 and +chargepoint+ held an executive Round Table event focusing on the “Last Mile.” You can check out my description in a previous post below. I think the take aways from this meeting are important. Here you go:

The Connected Car Will Become The Center Of Commerce on the Go.

Gone are the days of fumbling for your phone while driving. Your connected car is an extension of the tools you use every day – built as a platform and designed to integrate into all aspects of your daily life. Moving from your kitchen to the car and on to work or play, the services you use every day will be embedded in your car and you will have instant access to your favorite entertainment, productivity, ecommerce, payment and service tools.

It’s Not Just The Experience. It’s About The Relationship.

Just like real-life relationships, context is critical. By leveraging data from a variety of sources, more customized and simpler experiences can be created – leading to lasting relationships with automakers or transportation providers and making it easier for customers to adapt to new modes of travel with the help of incentives. When a positive experience occurs, value and profit will follow.

Tech Standards Will Allow Customers To Consume On-The-Go Services.

Many connected services, such as parking and gas, are highly fragmented. Industry leaders must agree on open standards to consolidate the supply to digitally connect them, and bring it to the open market – allowing automakers, navigation partner and others a more seamless way to access their capabilities.

The Power Of Your Voice.

The future of voice belongs in the connected vehicle. By allowing drivers to actually start their journey outside of the car with a meeting reminder or morning wake-up from Alexa, for example, automakers can create a stronger user experience from start to finish. Voice is already proving itself to be a desirable feature, as more than 75 percent of people say they want the same in-home voice assistant in their car. Why? It’s a seamless experience.

Collaboration And Open Innovation Are Key.

Gone are the days of building closed systems. Today, automakers are focused on open innovation and collaboration with industry-leading service providers. By evolving digitally and creating an underlying platform in each vehicle, automakers can build on what’s already been created and leverage existing systems and partners to fulfill customer needs and desires.

These concepts are not vaporware. Connected cars, Tech Standards, and Voice Activation in vehicles are marginally here and certainly will within the next few years be available commercially.

The idea of developing relationships that make it easy for the customer to have a positive experience through the use of real time data and collaboration and open innovation will enable companies to leverage their products and profits will follow.

Well done to Arrive, P97 and +chargepoint+


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Some Developers are “Spooked” over Parking

One of the speakers at the Arrive seminar yesterday was from Tishman Speyer, a world wide developer with over 90 million square feet of office space and tons of parking. He said that all the talk of AVs and the end of parking as we know it has his company “Spooked” and they are unsure what to do about planning for parking in the future.

Parking Industry Expo speaker Dale Denda is addressing this very issue this coming March in Chicago. Dale tells me that the numbers show that people driving cars to work is actually increasing and that most developers are planning for more parking in their projects.

Yes, some are “spooked,”, he says, but the majority are in fact building the requisite number of parking spaces. “These are real numbers, taken from construction surveys, not fantasy.”

If you are interested in the future of our industry, this is a seminar you won’t want to miss. I will be on the dais with Dale and will help parse his projections for the attended masses.

The percentages haven’t changed for over 60 years. About 85% of all commuters will drive private vehicles. The numbers have increased, however, since the population has increased. Government projections show that like it or not, cities will become congested, traffic will increase, and the need for someplace to put those cars will continue to exist.

Find out the facts at PIE 2019.  Full info here.


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Get Comfortable With “I Don’t Know”

Early in my career, I was terrified when someone asked me to do something that I had no idea how to accomplish.  I would run off on a secret mission to try and figure out how the heck I was going to resolve an issue, answer a question, whatever the request may have asked of me, all the while creating massive amounts of artificial stress.  As you can imagine, let’s just say the results were a mixed bag of hits and misses.  One of my best mentors once said to me: “The day you know everything, is the day you should retire.”  Meaning, as leaders our job isn’t to know all, our job is to recognize who (including ourselves) can and cannot do what to then line up the best person for each challenge, issue, project, etc.  It was a pivotal moment for me and from that point on, when asked to accomplish something I wasn’t super-confident on doing, my first question became (and remains) “who’s on my team?” 

During my presentation at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 13th I talk specifically about how important it is for leaders at any level to get comfortable with the phrase, “I don’t know” but to follow up with, “I’ll find out.” Then by doing so, you yourself learn whatever may be on hand and as well, model for others what it looks like to use humility and commitment as part of your leadership code, to rather be honest than attempt to be right and as importantly get stuff done to move the needle for your organization in the right direction.

Register for the Parking Industry Expo at here

Colleen Niese, Marlyn Group

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If You Think You Know What “The Last Mile” Means,

You Are Probably Wrong!

I thought “First Mile, Last Mile” issues dealt with Mobility as a Service and simply meant the issue of getting from your house to the light rail (First Mile) and then from the light rail station to your office (Last Mile). I learned at an Event put on by Arrive (Formerly ParkWhiz) yesterday that Last Mile issues are something else entirely.

Consider the problem of getting great ideas into the hands of consumers. Elon Musk had a fantastic idea. Design and build an electric car that is the best car on the planet. And he did. However he underestimated the problem of turning his design ideas into something people would buy. He was able to make a few, but could he make them in a volume that met the demand of his customers. That final, often difficult step, is what is referred to as The Last Mile.

An “evangelist” from Amazon’s in-car Alexa program spoke about putting the feature seamlessly in vehicles so you could use Alexa at home, and then use the voice activated program in your car. If you are an Alexa fan, it’s a great idea. The concept is thrilling. The design team is up to speed. But what are the problems getting it imbedded into the new vehicles coming off the line in Detroit, Tokyo, and Stuttgart. How does Amazon hope to get its product pushed over that Last Mile.

After discussing the vaporware that exists, all the features that would be included, and the 70,000 different commands Alexa will recognize, she, the evangelist, that is, discussed the Last Mile issues dealing with myriad automobile companies, each having their own interfaces, hardware and software, and getting the program into the field. She said it would be a long slow process.

Arrive sees itself as facilitating that Last Mile in connecting cars with parking operations so drivers can deal with parking issues directly from their dashboards. They are working with app providers like Amazon, TomTom, Ticketmaster, Ford, Hyundai, XEVO, and Groupon and many others to bridge that Last Mile for their products.

As an aside, consider the road that autonomous vehicles must travel from the idea stage, through design and testing, out to the point where they are commercially viable. Remembering that Level 5 AVs (truly Jetson style that will go anywhere, anytime, in any weather) are the only ones that will really work to the point that they threaten human driven vehicles, consider how long their Last Mile is. If an app on a phone has a bug, so what. If an AV has a bug – it’s a much bigger deal.

Automobile Manufacturers have a five to ten-year lead time between concept and the showroom floor. They understand the perils of the Last Mile.

180,000 attendees at CES this week in Las Vegas will see thousands of ideas that are just approaching the Last Mile. Care to guess how many will actually make it?


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Congestion and Productivity

I have railed about this before, but I think it needs a revisit. When a statistician says something costs billions in lost productivity, what does it really mean. For instance. We are told that congestion costs around $280 billion a year. I know that they mean in “lost productivity.”

A friend is writing a piece for a scholarly journal and opens with with the number above. He is attempting to get our attention by giving us a concrete way to gauge the problem. Its a good writing ploy. But is he only fooling us to get our attention.

Instead of sitting on the 405 listening to Freddy Mercury sing Bohemian Rhapsody, I could be at work toiling for the man. But does that really happen?

In order to get to work by 8 am, I get up at 5 so the time I spend in congestion won’t keep me from getting to the office on time. Now, let’s wave our magic wands and have congestion go away.

Does that mean I still get up at 5? I don’t think so. I think it means that I actually now get up at six, do my normal morning chores and still make it to work by 8. Am I missing something here?

I understand that sitting in traffic is a huge frustration, causing all sorts of mental and physical ails, plus burning up fuel, polluting the atmosphere, and causing all sorts of mayhem. But if it went away, would our productivity actually increase about a quarter of a trillion a year? Human nature being what it is, I don’t think so.

That number, and thousands like it, is a way to measure the cost of a certain issue, like congestion, or a broken water main, or the fact that trains don’t run on time. That way we can get our minds around spending billions to fix the problems and see that we need to do so and justify the expense. Fair enough.

But if we ‘fix’ a problem like congestion, we are going to recoup the money spent to do so in increased productivity, it is not the same as replacing typewriters with a PC on every desk. That will enable us to do more work in less time and increase the output of work by each person.

These huge numbers are bandied about with ease (30% of all traffic is looking for parking comes to mind) but are they accurate, do they mean anything, or are they attempts to justify huge expenditures or policy changes.

I think we all know the answer to that.

All the above being said, should my friend not use the numbers to make a point. Of course he should. We need a way to get out mind around a problem. We just need to understand it for what it is.


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Solve your Problems at PIE

When you come to PIE, you bring a world of experience to share. You also bring issues to solve. Whether it is curb congestion, revenue collection, enforcement, you customer’s attitude toward parking, confusion over technology, they are all on the table at PIE 2019.

It seems that we all have something to give and something to take. That’s what our four days of the Parking Industry Exhibition is all about. We want to give you the opportunity to learn from the colleagues who you will meet there, and give them the opportunity to find out how you have solved the problems they bring.

Educational systems give us a structured way to exchange information, to focus on areas that will help us in our lives, and to acquire skills needed as we pursue our careers. Continuing education programs provided by both institutions and by organizations provide the opportunity to keep current on what is happening in our career fields.

The parking industry provides a more informal approach to providing information through its three national and numerous regional events. When you attend an event like PIE, you can immerse yourself in parking. The result will be solutions, both for your problems, and for those of others.

Come to PIE – solve problems and become a solution.


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Top Blog Posts of 2018

MaaS, Transportation, Technology and Parking – We are the Same Industry

Posted on February 21, 2018 by JVH

There’s an article linked over at parknews.biz from the data giant Cisco. It is titled: Technology, Services Can Sustain Parking Companies. Its told from tech companies’ point of view. Car population will be a quarter of what it is now … Continue reading →

Smart Parking – What’s so “Smart” About it?

Posted on April 5, 2018 by JVH

An article from ITS International, posted on Parknews, attempts to define smart parking and I think comes up short. To wit: Smart parking should: identify or forecast open parking spaces and relay that information to drivers support multiple payment options … Continue reading →

But I thought that…

Posted on May 23, 2018 by JVH

Technology can solve a lot of problems. It can certainly help in ensuring that revenue is properly calculated and collected in parking facilities. Case in point:  The surface lot at my doctors’ office. It is a combination daily and monthly … Continue reading →

Organizational Goals – A Carrot and a Stick

Posted on June 21, 2018 by JVH

I had a nice chat yesterday with David Straus, Executive Director of ACT, the Association for Commuter Transportation. According to its web site its an organization that works with the government to make commuter transportation less focused on single occupancy … Continue reading →

The System is Perfect…Except

Posted on July 30, 2018 by JVH

Last week I stayed at a major hotel in Las Vegas. The rules are that hotel guests pay for parking but get in and out privileges. If you are not a guest, you pay for every exit. Fair enough. So … Continue reading →

Hofstadter and Disruption of Parking…Its going to happen WHEN?

Posted on July 17, 2018 by JVH

While perusing Parknews.biz I came across ‘Hofstadter’s Law.’ It seems self evident, but like the law of unintended consequences it is often ignored. It goes like this:  “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account … Continue reading →

Parking, It’s about Service

Posted on August 24, 2018 by JVH

Back in the day particularly in Manhattan, but in other places as well, parking was all about price and availability. If there was space, you charged what you could get, collected it, and let the driver park their car. Garages … Continue reading →

What do we mean “We are the Arena”

Posted on August 22, 2018 by JVH

We can argue on Teddy Roosevelt’s tenure as President, but he could spin a great tale when he gave a speech. When he spoke to the Sorbonne in 1910, he talked about courage, winning and losing, and actually doing something. … Continue reading →

Its cheaper to own a car than take ride sharing, really

Posted on August 22, 2018 by JVH

According to the AAA, It’s cheaper to own, maintain, park, and insure a car than to take Uber or Lyft. A lot cheaper, like by half. Astrid posted the article over on parknews.biz. Check it out here. Since I don’t … Continue reading →

35% Parking Tax and Forbid Monthly Parking…Where to Begin

Posted on September 25, 2018 by JVH

An opinion piece in the New York Times (you can follow the link at parknews.biz) calls for a citywide 35% tax (up from 18% in Manhattan and 10% in the rest of the city) plus forbidding the sale of monthly … Continue reading →

Is Parking’s Emerging Tech an Early Sunrise or a Bright Sunny Day?

Posted on September 19, 2018 by JVH

When I hear “emerging technology” I think of the sun coming up first thing in the morning. Its dark, then the day gets brighter and brighter. Technology sometimes works that way. We hear about it, then it becomes more apparent, … Continue reading →

A Fly in the Shoup, Continued…

Posted on October 29, 2018 by JVH

And then we have to go in and clean up the mess. We had a lot of discussions at this year’s Temecula Parking Group about cities and the many issues they have dealing with technology and rules and regulations. Parking … Continue reading →

Mobility and the Resistance

Posted on November 19, 2018 by JVH

I was surprised when the woman in charge of “Smart Cities” for Los Angeles told me that she couldn’t get the parking department to return her phone calls. What was that all about? Was the parking department in the nation’s … Continue reading →

Mobility – Can Parking Survive without It

Posted on November 18, 2018 by JVH

The term “Mobility” has suddenly become the buzzword of the day in our industry. One manager tells me that if she talks about “parking” eyes glaze over, but if she mentions “Mobility” the listeners are engaged. A major parking organization … Continue reading →

Suddenly we have a Unicorn – Now What? ParkJockey on the Rise

Posted on December 12, 2018 by JVH

When one refers to a Unicorn today, its not a mythical horse, but a high tech startup that is now worth over a $billion. It seems we have one of these creatures in the parking industry. Continue reading

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Electric Cars, Pollution and You

A year or so ago I commented on an article that posited that a high end BMW actually created the same or less pollution than a Tesla. I didn’t get much comment, probably because most folks thought I was nuts.

Today, we see another article, this time in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, where one Jonathan Lesser actually claims that electric cars are worse for the environment than gas powered cars produced today. You can read it here.

He notes that studies by the Energy Information Administration show that gas powered vehicles built today compared to those in the 60s produce less than 1% of the pollution than their elder cousins. He also states that when you drive an electric vehicle, you have the get the electricity from somewhere. And that electricity is most likely produced by fossil fuel. To wit:

What I (Lesser) found is that widespread adoption of electric vehicles nationwide will likely increase air pollution compared with new internal combustion vehicles. You read that right: More electric cars and trucks will mean more pollution.

That might sound counterintuitive: After all, won’t replacing a 30-year old, smoke-belching Oldsmobile with a new electric vehicle reduce air pollution? Yes, of course. But that’s also where many electric-vehicle proponents’ arguments run off the road: They fail to consider just how clean and efficient new internal combustion vehicles are.

The appropriate comparison for evaluating the benefits of all those electric-vehicle subsidies and mandates isn’t the difference between an electric vehicle and an old gas-guzzler; it’s the difference between an electric car and a new gas car. And new internal combustion engines are really clean. Today’s vehicles emit only about 1 percent of the pollution they did in the 1960s, and new innovations continue to improve their efficiency and cleanliness.

As for that electric car: The energy doesn’t come from nowhere. Cars are charged from the nation’s electrical grid, which means that they’re only as “clean” as America’s mix of power sources. Those are getting cleaner, but we still generate power mainly by burning fossil fuels: natural gas is our biggest source of electricity and is projected to increase. And coal, while still declining, will remain the second-largest source of electricity for some time. (Third is nuclear power, which doesn’t generate emissions but has other byproducts that worry some environmentalists.)

Even with large increases in wind and solar generation, the EIA projects that the nation’s electric-generating mix will be just 30 percent renewable by 2030. Based on that forecast, if the EIA’s projected number of electric vehicles were replaced with new internal-combustion vehicles, air pollution would actually decrease — and this holds true even if you include the emissions from oil refineries that manufacture gasoline.

Ah, the famous law of unintended consequences. Very few of our vehicle fleet is electric. However if the government has its way, that number will change. The feds and state governments are subsidizing electric vehicles in a big way. Lesser says that those subsidies actually go to the most wealthy of us, those who can afford high priced electric cars. The poorer among us bear the financial weight.

Its not just the subsidies but also the charging stations that will have to be put into place. People that buy electric vehicles can afford to live in homes that have charging stations and can use solar to keep them charged. However the electric grid must be enhanced to cover the times when solar doesn’t work (night, cloudy, etc). Everyone who uses electricity will pay for that enhancement. That means people who don’t drive electric vehicles will pay to support the infrastructure of those who do.

His position, like mine, is to let electric cars stand on their own. No government subsidies. As is typical, the government’s position is contrary to what they are trying to do.

Note: Just to be clear — I love electric cars, particularly the Tesla, perhaps the finest vehicle made today. I’m all for charging stations in garages for them. Its just that the Tesla owner should pay for the electricity and infrastructure to charge his vehicle, just has gasoline fueled vehicle owners do. Elon Musk has received nearly 3/4 of a Billion dollars in government subsidies. Don’t you think that’s enough.


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