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CHAPTER 6 Evaluating Potential Strategies and Supporting Technologies This chapter describes the factors frequently considered by airport operators when evaluating a potential parking strategy. The evaluation process leading to recommendation of a preferred strategy, or strategies, typically includes some or all of the following steps: Considering the specific characteristics of the airport and its customers; Evaluating the implications for affected organizations and stakeholders, as appropriate; Determining the required implementation actions; and Estimating the costs and benefits of implementation. These steps are described in the following sections. Consider the Specific Characteristics of the Airport and Its Customers After a list of potential strategies for implementation is developed, the next logical step is to con- sider which strategies best respond to the unique characteristics of the airport and its customers, recognizing that some strategies will be better suited to a particular airport than others. These unique characteristics relate to airport customers, the airport operator, and the physical airport facilities, as described in this section. Airport Customers Passenger demographics and travel behavior, which have been addressed, in part, in previous chapters, that affect the evaluation of a parking strategy include: Proportion of O&D airline passengers--These passengers are an airport's parking customer base. O&D airline passengers start and end their trips at the airport as opposed to connecting passengers, who start and end their trips at other airports and thus are not potential parking cus- tomers. At some large-hub airports, over 40% of all airline passengers are connecting between flights, while at most medium- and small-hub airports, fewer than 10% of all passengers are connecting with other flights. Proportion of local resident passengers--At most airports, the majority of O&D airline pas- sengers are local residents who park at the airport. Non-resident O&D passengers are more likely to use rental cars or other airport access modes and are unlikely to park at the airport other than when being picked up or dropped off. Examples of airports with a large number of non-resident airline passengers include those serving destination resorts (e.g., the airports serving Honolulu and neighboring island airports in Hawaii, as well as Las Vegas and Orlando) and airports serv- ing large volumes of non-resident airline passengers on a seasonal basis (e.g., airports located near ski resorts in the winter or those serving national parks in the summer). 139

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140 Guidebook for Evaluating Airport Parking Strategies and Supporting Technologies The need to base analyses of parking requirements and revenues on O&D passengers may appear obvious, but occasionally parking analyses are incorrectly prepared comparing trends in revenues per total passengers rather than per local resident O&D passengers. At airports with many connecting passengers or non-resident passengers, this error can result in misleading conclusions. Proportion of business versus non-business passengers--Trip purpose is an indication of the customer's sensitivity to savings in travel time and/or travel cost. Business travelers are less sen- sitive to the cost of parking compared to non-business travelers because their travel expenses are likely to be paid by a third party. Non-business travelers (e.g., those traveling on vacation or fam- ily business) are more sensitive to parking costs because these costs may represent a significant percentage of the traveler's total out-of-pocket travel costs, particularly for those customers parking for a week or more and using a heavily discounted airline ticket. Business travelers are typically "just-in-time" travelers who value potential time savings and reliable or predictable travel times. They are more often willing to pay premium rates for park- ing products or services that minimize time spent searching for an open parking space and walk- ing long distances, provide guaranteed space availability, or avoid unanticipated delays. Business travelers typically depart early in the week and return late in the week. Thus, the peak demand for parking facilities serving business travelers occurs on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Non-business travelers are likely to depart on a Saturday and return on a Sunday. Thus, the peak demand for parking facilities serving non-business travelers occurs on weekends. The presence of a low-cost carrier at the airport tends to increase the proportion of non-business travelers. Proportion of customers using alternative access modes--It is helpful to consider the alter- native access modes available to customers when considering potential parking rates, products, and services. The availability of attractive alternatives to private vehicles will affect customer responses to changes in airport parking costs, services, and products. For example, at some air- ports, the high cost of parking (including economy parking) has made chauffeured limousines an attractive alternative both in terms of cost and convenience. At other airports, the availabil- ity of high-quality and reasonably priced rail transit, express bus service, and shared-ride vans has reduced the demand for long-duration parking, particularly by passengers traveling for non-business purposes. Proportion of customers using alternative parking options--The availability of attractive and reasonably priced, privately operated off-airport parking facilities will affect an airport opera- tor's share of the total public parking market in the region. At some airports, more than 50% of the long-duration parking spaces are provided in privately operated lots. Often private park- ing operators (including those operating on airports, such as the privately operated Canadian airports) introduce new technologies and services before such technologies and services are adopted at publicly operated airports. Because the lots are privately owned, the parking oper- ators can introduce new services, modify parking rates, offer volume discounts, and make other changes much faster than an airport operator, or an airport operator may be unable to make such changes. Thus, when considering new products, services, or rates, it is helpful to antici- pate the way competing private parking operators may respond. It is also helpful to consider whether off-airport operators are considered "partners" or "competitors." Seasonal and weekly variations--Many airports experience extreme peaks in public parking demand during the Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas holidays, spring break, or local events such as major sporting events. These unusual peak demands may result in the need to operate, on a temporary basis, holiday/overflow lots that--because of their interim nature--offer lower levels of customer service and the use of less expensive parking revenue control equipment and procedures. Volume of international travelers--The parking characteristics and durations of passengers on overseas flights differ from those on domestic and transborder flights. Typically, international passengers are accompanied to/from the airport by more family members or friends than are