In March 2017, ParkMan arrived in Spain - and we couldn’t be more excited. The first city to adopt our parking app is León, a mid-sized city of 130 000 inhabitants in the northwest of the country in the region of Castilla y León.
It’s great to see how the solution has been welcomed with open arms: drivers have already embraced the app, and during the last week of March León had the most new users of all of ParkMan’s partnering areas. ParkMan was also featured in a number of local publications (a video from the press conference, featured in Leonoticias Diario, below and a comprehensive list at the bottom of the post). León marks the arrival of the new age of parking in Spain. We look forward to a long and prosperous cooperation!
León takes a step towards innovative urban living
The setup process of ParkMan did not pose any challenges on either side. “We were very pleased and also surprised at how quickly the whole implementation process went,” says Fernando Salguero, President of Eulsa (Estacionamientos urbanos de León S.A.) and Vice Mayor and City Council responsible for Mobility and Security in León. To get ParkMan up and running in the city swiftly was not only an advantage to the city, but also a clear indication of good cooperation.
“We found common ground with León because they are an innovative city open to the improvements that digitalization can bring, and that’s exactly what ParkMan's vision is. We are really glad to be launching here,” ParkMan’s General Manager in Spain, Enrique Aguilar says.
Fernando Salguero highlights the same: “ParkMan represents modernity and innovation, which is what Eulsa wants to introduce in León, and we’re thankful that ParkMan has chosen León as its very first experience in Spain."
“We didn’t put a parking meter in the phone, we created something completely new”
Our GM in Spain, Enrique Aguilar, sees the arrival of our app as a game changer in the city. “What has been previously done in the area of mobile parking amounts more or less to taking the concept of the parking meter, and putting that exact function in the phone of the consumer. We, however, went another way and created something completely new that makes parking easier and simpler for both the city as well as the residents using the ParkMan app. There's no reason to replicate the parking meter experience when there's a chance to make the process less laborious.”
Our holistic approach to the parking experience means that the app's functionalities extend beyond just parking payments. Drivers in León can now find an available parking spot, view parking rates and navigate to the parking location. There’s no need to know the exact parking duration in advance, because parking can be ended or extended whenever through the app. Once a driver is returning to the car, they get a smart reminder to turn off the parking, so there’s no danger of overpaying. And speaking of, the charge only runs for the minutes that the parking lasts for, not for a predetermined period of time.
For the city, the easier and less exhaustive parking process not only brings happier drivers, but also helps to save resources on parking enforcement and hardware, and also to streamline information.
Parking apps reflect the general digitalization trend in Europe
The general direction of parking has been digital for some time now, and parking professionals are unanimous about the fact that in 10 years, its going to be predominantly online.
The trend is seen everywhere in Europe, and especially in the Nordics where ParkMan also has a steady presence. By now we work in multiple cities in Denmark and Sweden and keep expanding in both. In Finland where ParkMan originates from, we operate in virtually all cities that have paid parking. The more cities join in a given country, the better the overall experience is for users, because it allows them to use our app wherever they go.
The benefits of investing in digital parking are multifold, including reduced payment processing costs, improved traffic flow and reduced congestion in urban areas and sustainability. Smart parking solutions also contribute to the smart city evolution overall when there's the chance for vast integration between digital systems in different sectors. More and more cities have understood the full potential technology has to improve city livability.
León has set an example for digital parking in Spain
The growth of ParkMan in León looks very promising, and it's safe to say that the city has the right mindset when it comes to the future of the parking industry. Parking is in the midst of a change from predominantly physical to digital, and to stay on top of the changes, cities must keep an open mind. “León wants to be at the forefront of these kinds of apps and tech, and that’s where collaborating with ParkMan takes us" says Fernando Salguero.
Enrique Aguilar sees this as promising not just for the city of León, but all urban areas in Spain: “It’s exciting to see León embrace the new, modern way of organizing and managing parking, and to know that they understand the immense value that a solution like ParkMan can bring. I look forward to seeing what the next innovative Spanish city to come onboard the ParkMan experience will be.”
ParkMan in Spanish media:
- Castilla y León Económica
- esRadio Castilla y León
- La Vanguardia
- Cadena SER
- Ahora León