Parking issues are common throughout South Africa, from the commercial sector to the tight-knit residential areas. Cities draw an influx of citizens and tourists each year, fuelling a shortage of adequate space and parking disparities. Ineffective management in a dynamic automotive era has also brought additional parking issues affecting the average consumer and citizen.
Factors of growing parking issues
Parking issues can be accredited to a variety of factors, including geography, car size, and cost. Historically, private vehicles were a rarity before a sudden boom in private car ownership in the 1980s. Cars were much smaller and more economical than the spacious sedans, which are commonplace throughout South Africa today, but the size of parking spaces has not changed in most cases. This influx of larger private vehicles has placed a huge amount of stress on the roads and in city centres where we find tricky parking areas, or drivers merely seeking alternative off-road parking which is more than often an illegal parking spot.
Parking is costly too. Most public spaces are lined with metered parking, and often the parking cost in commercial complexes and malls is even higher. For those whose workplace or nature of work requires regular visits to compulsory paid parking sites, this is a costly exercise. The City of Johannesburg has announced its intention to expand paid street parking in urban areas to overcome traffic flow issues. However, this weighs heavily on the pockets of residents and visitors alike. Paid parking meters help to ease traffic flow and management but are an outdated, unrealistic method and deter commuters who are not keen to pay the additional expense. A parking levy in residential areas increases the tax and all residents foot the bill regardless of whether a personal benefit is drawn from it or not. However, limiting the levy to commercial areas counters the existing business property tax charge, which business owners operating in such areas are already liable to pay.
So, what is the solution?
The commonly suggested solution is, naturally, to reduce private car usage. However, due to poorly managed, underfunded, and less secure means of public transport, private car ownership is seen as essential among locals with few feasible. This is where Zeelo comes in. Zeelo provides commuters with the best solution for their daily travel through shared transport services, which cater to commuter needs through optimal route design based on local data. Safety is a concern of the past, with private vehicle management through live tracking systems and 24/7 customer support. Zeelo helps to transport commuters safely and reduce the stress and cost of their commute, whilst simultaneously cutting down on-site parking.
Zeelo’s shared transportation systems also remove the headache of congestion and parking, through its corporate transportation services, catering to the needs of employees on behalf of employers. Corporate shared bus services aim to clear up on-site congestion and foster happy employees who feel cared for. Transport to and from work should not be seen as additional stress, but rather an employee benefit for companies which look to please and retain their employees.
Essentially, parking management is undeniably becoming a market on its own, with businesses and municipalities seeking to benefit from and commercialise parking spaces. To optimise the position of the consumer, alternatives are to be sought after, to reduce private car usage overall and nip the issue in the bud. The more car usage grows, so do parking issues. Solutions like Zeelo take care of these issues on a number of levels, which in turn, benefit private commuters and businesses, as well as the municipalities in the areas concerned.