With a population of 11 million people and 6 million cars, Moscow is a metropolis that was suffering the same fate as many other large cities around the world: its streets were filled with motorists but there was no formal system for parking. On‑street parking had become a challenge for drivers, residents, visitors and the city authorities.
The lack of a controlled parking system affected mobility and infrastructure radically as well as causing many other problems throughout the city. A number of key issues needed to be addressed:
The ‘Moscow Parking Space’ project was launched by the city in 2012 to resolve all these challenges.
The goal of ‘Moscow Parking Space’ was to improve city traffic, implement a paid parking solution that would help decrease the amount of legal and illegal parking spaces by 73%, reduce traffic density in the central administrative area of Moscow and increase the average vehicle speed from 5km/h to 15km/h.
Following a tender, NOW! Innovations was chosen to provide an online solution because of its experience and the functionality of its technical platform. NOW! Innovations has offered a mobile billing and payment platform for parking since 2000, gaining considerable experience that was relevant to this type of ambitious project.
The first major milestone was to set up a pilot project that would test the new concepts, ideas and technology for the city. This required as much work as many full‑scale schemes:
The pilot was launched in November 2012, introducing paid parking in the city centre area covered by Petrovka Street, Karetny Ryad and 18 neighbouring streets. Despite the pilot being scheduled to run until the end of February 2013, authorities had already deemed it a roaring success in December 2012.
Following the successful pilot scheme, the paid parking area was expanded. This involved introducing additional sophistication as well as increasing the physical area:
After the full implementation of its platform, NOW! Innovations continues to help the city of Moscow improve its traffic flow and parking challenges by:
By the end of the pilot, a leading global management consulting firm concluded that traffic flow on affected streets had improved by 6%-9% and illegal parking had fallen by 64% as a result of the higher fines and increased enforcement. It’s also estimated that average parking space occupancy decreased from 4½ hours to 1½ hours. In addition, the fees and fines allowed the city to generate $34 million roubles (US$1 million) in new revenue. Ultimately, the project was given the go-ahead for expansion and full implementation.
Today, mobile parking is being expanded to even more parts of Moscow. As of October 2013 there were more than 270,000 parking spaces, of which 4000 are paid parking spaces, and more than 400,000 drivers using the system.