Subotica, as like many towns in Serbia, has a great problem in regulating parking areas in the city and implementing rational policy. One of the tasks it faces is to organize parking for about 35.000 vehicles that visit the city centre. This task is made harder due to unregulated parking, and the costs involved enforcing parking policy. Subotica has recently started to use a mobile payment service called SMS 4 Parking, to help with this problem.
Background & Objectives
In order to deal with the parking demand and enforcement, the public company charged with task of overseeing parking in Subotica, "Parking", have started to use the services of the Serbian IT specialists PSC and their parking management software called SMS 4 Parking. This system encompasses both parking payment and parking management functions enabling the parking authorities of Subotica to centrally manage and control parking services and parking payments.
Users of the system use one of the parking areas in Subotica and send a SMS with their car license plate number to specified short number in order to pay for parking. Users then recieve a SMS from the Centre that confirms payment of parking place. A further SMS is sent to warn the user 10 minutes before parking time expires. As the user then leaves the car park, it is required to send a code, recieved from the barriers at the exit of the car park, to the central control room to confirm that it has left, the car park. Users have maximum comfort and control over their car parking, and city council has solved a big problem, with regards to regulating parking and enforcing policy. It also helps direct car users to where the nearest parking spaces are and how much capacity there is left.
The work started on implementing the system on 01. June 2006, and after a month of intense work to implement and test solutions, Mr. Kikic, the director of the public company, "Parking" says: "As soon as I saw citizens coming themselves to pay their debts, I knew we had a winning combination. With SMS 4 Parking now we have communal order, and there is virtually no street in the centre where you cannot find a free parking lot. We have virtually changed the image of the city, and according to parking solutions, Subotica is an European city“.
The outcomes of the scheme are;
•Waiting time for a free parking lot in the centre is decreased
•Number of parking violations is down to the minimum
•Income from the parking fees is significantly increased (for 60%), which made it possible to invest and further develop this system
•Citizens satisfaction is increased, as well as the citizen comfort in the centre due to clearer streets.
•It was implemented in a very short notice, with minimum investments, and the money invested was quickly recouped
•System is easily expanded and adapted according to the users needs
Over 60% of the overall payment for parking in Subotica is done through SMS even though using the machines or card can be cheaper. The ease of accessibility, and real time information regarding how much time the user has left remaining is a major influence in this figure.