A smart parking field test conducted for the California Department of Transportation and the Bay Area Rapid Transit estimated capital cost at $150 to $250 per space; O&M costs were estimated at $40 to $60 per space.

July/August 2007
California,United States

Summary Information

At the request of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) researchers conducted a study to evaluate the feasibility of the smart parking concept for parking facilities at transit stations. The Rockridge BART station in Oakland was used as the site for smart parking field-testing from December 8, 2004 to April 7, 2006. In addition to Caltrans and BART, project partners included the California Center for Innovative Transit at the University of California–Berkeley, ParkingCarma Inc.’s ParkingCarma™ technology, Quixote Corporation, Intel, and Microsoft.

The smart parking system permitted pre-trip as well as en-route trip planning. Motorists could reserve a parking space at the Rockridge BART station up to two weeks in advance. While en-route and faced with congestion on Highway 24, they could see the display of real-time parking availability at the station lot and decide to use transit. Key passenger-interface technologies used in the field test were:
  • Two portable dynamic message signs (DMSs), located on Highway 24, which displayed parking availability information to motorists.
  • A centralized intelligent reservation system that enabled commuters to check the availability of parking spaces and then to reserve a space via telephone, mobile phone, Internet, or personal digital assistant (PDA). The intelligent reservation system used the up-to-the-minute counts of parking availability obtained through the vehicle count data from the entrance and exit sensors at the BART station parking lot.
Fifty (50) parking spaces, of the 920 total, were made available for the smart parking field test – 15 for advance reservations and the remaining for same-day reservations by commuters who, upon seeing the DMSs on Highway 24, opted to take BART.

The deployment costs for the field testing at Rockridge BART station were covered from the donations from project partners. The PATH study, however, estimated that the capital costs for deploying such a smart parking system would be between $150 and $ 250 per space, with an annual operations and maintenance (O&M) costs ranging from $50 to $60 per space.

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Research Pays Off - Smart Parking Management to Boost Transit, Ease Congestion: Oakland, California, Field Test Shows Promise

Author: Shaheen Susan A. and Caroline Rodier

Published By: Paper in TR News 251, July-August 2007, published by the Transportation Research Board

Source Date: July/August 2007


System Cost

Capital cost $150 to $250 per space.

O&M cost $40 to $60 per space per year.


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Related Unit Cost Subsystems

Parking Management (PM)


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Cost ID: 2008-00134