Smart Interpark (Malaysia) and its group of companies are actively involved in the car park management business with the directors and shareholders having a combined business experience of more than 40 years.
S.Sundar: By profession a licensed Company Secretary for 12 years. Subsequently ventured into car park automation manufacturing industry for the last 7 years. Progressively he diversified into car park management and car park privatization projects for the last seven years. He is heading the company as the young and vibrant Chief Executive Officer.
India Transport Portal: Urban transportation in India faces severe congestion. To what extent a company such as Smart Parking India could help to ease this issue?
S.Sundar : Smart parking is able to provide consulting in the parking business. We have experience of on street parking management (Bangalore and Chennai).
Smart parking implements a modern, simple and sustainable solution : P&D working with solar power energy. It has a positive impact as the recycling rate reached by Parkeon P&D is between 95% and 97%
On street parking is done to help cities and parking operator to improve the situation of cities. It has a positive impact on traffic congestion limited parking time, princing per hour) and better use of few parking spaces (define areas and type of parking to be implemented: parallel parking/fishbone parking…).
About 30-40% of the traffic jam is due to drivers looking for a space! So there is a need to reduce the number of cars in the neighborhood. Pay for parking dissuades people from coming with a car. It is an incentive to use other means of transport (bus, taxi, bicycle, metro…) and so it will lead to less congestion.
If you have to pay you stay less time (on street parking is mainly done for short time parking). This is a virtuous circle: a better rotation makes places easier to be found and it leads to lead congestion. The revenue generated can be invested by the city or parking operator (in case it’s a non profitable organization)
The investment in infrastructures and maintenance leads to a better status of the streets and pathways (which is one big issue in India, causing problems of traffic congestion).Traffic signs can be implemented (sometime inexistent and could help people to find their way in the city easier), other parking complexes can be built, buses can be bought…
So our experience on parking management can help to achieve a better fluidity of the traffic that will lead to less congestion
India Transport Portal: In which Indian cities are you established and with which kind of services?
S.Sundar : We started in Bangalore in the year 2005, and HYD and Now in Chennai for On street parking. Operations and management and Off street parking in Chennai only
India Transport Portal: The government has decided to invest $60 billion to modernize Mumbai. Don’t you think that beyond technology and such investment, driver awareness is an essential element that is required to achieve traffic management?
S.Sundar : Driver’s awareness is the basis to achieve traffic management, but today it’s a mess. People have no driving training, there are too few traffic policemen and traffic rules are not respected. By implementing on street parking management you give the opportunity to both city and drivers to participate to this awareness.
The city because she is forced to organize the streets a better way otherwise the initial positive impact of automobile as an impulse for the local economy will be the one which will slow it. The city is also invited to communicate towards drivers to inform them about the new solution she is implementing. And if the city wants it to work, drivers have to respect it. For example, if on street parking is implemented the city has to inform drivers on the positive effects it will get in the area and how how the money collected will be used (improve streets, pathway…). The city can involve shopkeepers and people in the process by promoting the solution locally
The drivers have to be educated, and this is a process which takes a long time, but which is done hand in hand with the city. It’s the responsibility of the city to make people aware of the situation (if people have not yet seen it) and even more to make people change their way to act/drive. There are several ways to make people aware: training before driving license, training of the traffic police, traffic fine, Add in the newspaper. Associations like the IRTE have a very good impact on this issue.
Also, some movie stars or models could get involved to incentive people to act differently. And there are probably more ideas.
India Transport Portal: What are the best examples of a successful initiative regarding parking management?
S.Sundar : Our first project @ Brigade Road in Bangalore was a great success till date and followed Chennai On street parking operations which also includes Mall parking management .
India Transport Portal: Intertraffic India was an exhibition for these advanced technologies. What are the main advances in this way?
S.Sundar : Intertraffic India was a very interesting exhibition for India cities. It gave an overview on what kind of solution are already implemented a bit everywhere (in other countries), but mostly showed Indian cities what they lack. If this exhibition got success it’s because companies know that indian cities have a REAL NEED for all these new technologies, and the sooner, the better. Today it will be difficult and costly to implement all what they need, so if they wait longer, the invoice will be even more costly.
On the other hand, this exhibition was a great success because lots of indian companies and cities visited it, and this shows us that Indian people are aware of the situation and of the need they have. What they also need is consulting, advice from people who got experience in the traffic and parking business as it is a very big issue. They have so much to do that it seems they are lost and do not know where to begin. Cities have to make priorities and firstly using the existing infrastructures (streets) before spending money on big projects which may be a loss of time and money.
What we saw is that urban mobility is a key aspect nowadays. Urban mobility goes through a better understanding of the actual problems that indian cities face (lack of public transport, infrastructures, overcrowded streets, lack of parking…) and the way to tackle each problems from a global point of view by acting on traffic, parking, education…using technology…
Smart parking has the capacity and the expertise to help cities, transport department and companies involved in these businesses because it can provide easy working solutions.
India Transport Portal: Two wheeler sales are rising sharply. How do you manage this specific mean of transport?
S.Sundar : Smart parking does not really provide much solutions to two wheelers as yet in india. Although there are solutions available in other countries. In total we can conclude that TRAFFIC IS RISING FAST in METRO CITIES of INDIA so we need address the issues fast.