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Do You Really Need a Parking Gate? Debunking Common Parking Gate Myths

Traditional parking gate systems have long been a preferred solution for parking facility owners that are looking to provide a feeling of security to their property, to reduce costs, and to create a simple payment option for drivers that park on their property. 

Parking gates were first introduced in the 1950’s - and parking technology has come a long way since then. So are gates still the best choice for a modern parking facility? 

At AirGarage, we believe the future of parking is gateless, and that the combination of License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology and contactless mobile payment systems not only enhance security, but also greatly improve the parking experience for drivers. 

Let’s dive into some of the most common misconceptions about parking gates and see how modern technology can help you ditch your old school gate system to create a more seamless parking experience for your customers while reducing your operational expenses. 

Are Parking Gates the Best Way to Secure a Facility?

Contrary to popular belief, traditional parking gates are not designed with safety and security in mind - they are built to be used as revenue control devices - they can be helpful in preventing your customers from leaving your facility by forcing them to pay before exit, but not to secure vehicles or the property from potential threats. Said another way - Parking gates do not help to keep threats out, they are designed to keep your customers & tenants in. 

Gate systems (with the exception of a metal, garage door style roll down gate) are sometimes sold as a security system, but they offer little resistance to potential threats and during downtime due to software or hardware issues they are completely ineffective. 

Modern LPR Technology integrated into a gateless system offers more advanced and effective security than old school parking gates by creating an always-on, virtual security perimeter around your facility. With License Plate Recognition technology, every vehicle that enters and exits your facility is photographed and data including make, model, plate number, and entry/exit times are all stored and easily accessible in the event of any incident.

AirGarage’s LPR system also provides an extra layer of security through a direct integration with over 3000 Police Departments around the USA, allowing us to compare every vehicle that enters your facility to a list of known offenders in your area so local law enforcement can be notified and quickly respond to any threats. 

In addition to the security aspects, LPR can also be used to improve revenue collection by automatically charging drivers upon entry by scanning their license plate, as well as improving enforcement by automatically notifying local parking enforcement teams of any violating vehicles on your property.

Are Parking Gates More Affordable Than a Modern Gateless System?

Many parking facility owners like the idea of a gate system because they assume it will be a one-time, fixed cost that will solve all of their parking problems. However, the experience of purchasing and maintaining a gate system is often a story of hidden costs and frustrated drivers. 

When you purchase a parking gate there are two fees you’ll need to pay: First is an upfront fee for the system itself as well as installation of the system, and the second is a recurring services fee that you’ll need to pay if you want support when your system goes down. On top of that, there’s another cost that’s harder to measure: The revenue you lose each time the system goes offline, or every time someone drives through the gate-arm and your other customers leave the now wide open facility without payment upon exit. 

At AirGarage, we’ve worked with a customer that had to replace his gate-arm upwards of 40 times in a single year because it would frequently stop working and frustrated drivers would drive through it. These repairs alone cost him over $40,000, not to mention all of the additional revenue he lost while the system was down and he had to wait for his gate companies repair technicians to come onsite and fix it. 

A Gateless system with LTE-powered LPR cameras and mobile payment solutions eliminates downtime, helping you maximize revenue 24/7 with no hidden costs or additional services fees. 

Do Parking Gates Make It Simpler for Drivers to Pay to Park?

Some property owners believe parking gates make the payment process simple and easy, but if you have a busy parking facility and have a gate system, you know that isn’t how it works in reality. During peak times the line to get into your gated facility can back up into the road, holding up traffic, and the line to get out of the busiest parking garages can take hours and drive your customers crazy

Eliminating access gates creates a quick & easy entry and exit experience for your guests, who would prefer to pay for parking as quickly as possible so they can get on with their day. And since drivers in a gateless system pay on arrival, rather than on exit, the risk of drivers deciding to try to get away without paying is extremely low.

By allowing drivers to easily book and pay for parking through their own mobile devices, you’re also reducing the risk of any system wide downtime as a result of things like wifi issues for the gate system, power shortages, as well as hardware and software malfunctions which can lead to lost revenue. 

Let Us Show You Why the Future of Parking is Gateless 

If you own or manage a gated parking facility and want to learn more about how AirGarage’s gateless system can help you to provide a superior driver experience, optimize revenue, and improve security, all while reducing operational complexities.

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