A Pictou County company has collaborated with a Fredericton business trying to solve the congestion of downtown parking – and the hassle of finding a good space to park.
J.J. MacKay Canada Ltd. (MacKay Meters) and Fredericton-based HotSpot Parking (HotSpot) have combined their technological expertise in smart parking meter manufacturing, and pay-by-phone parking and transit technology, respectively, to create “a fully integrated parking solution.”
The result of this collaboration is a purchase by the City of Moncton of a series of mkBeacons, “smart meters” that use a wireless pay-by-cell service to determine which parking meters are in use, and which ones are available.
The need for real-time parking availability, according to Phillip Curley, CEO of HotSpot, has been something municipalities have been asking for, for a long time, and “technology is finally reaching a place where a municipality of any size can introduce the best parking experience possible to their citizens. We’re proud to pioneer this in the City of Moncton, but this is a feat achievable by any motivated municipality.”
According to information from MacKay Meters, the new meters in Moncton are making parking for people in the downtown area significantly easier. Motorists in the city can now more effectively plan and find parking spots, with their mobile phones, being able to see which ones are in use.
The meters communicate if they are paid – something reflected on a real-time map that helps drivers find spots that are available, that they can access from a phone app.
Parking meters in use will be marked as such with a red letter-P icon, while those available will be similarly designated on a map included, with a green letter-P.
“When a driver pays for parking with either coins or credit card at any new … parking meter, the meter communications that paid status to HotSpot and the parking spot then changes to red on the map,” reads information from HotSpot.
These meters are already in the City of Moncton, installed on a number of streets within the city, said James MacKay, VP of sales with MacKay Meters. He added that, “It’s fantastic that two Atlantic Canadian companies can bring this type of technology to the streets of an Atlantic Canadian city.”
Stephane Thibodeau, the transportation and parking co-ordinator for the City of Moncton said the new meters and app have made parking in the city easier, and “(have) allowed us to reduce redundancies within our system and streamline the service for our users.”
New Glasgow-based MacKay Meters has sold over 500,00 meters, and works to provide an assortment of parking systems.