Oakland, California, and technology company Populus are launching “smart loading zones” for commercial fleet operators in the city, according to a press release Thursday.
The city will issue permits to commercial fleet operators that allow them to pay for curb use by the minute automatically. The program’s goals are to lower traffic congestion, improve road safety and speed deliveries by reducing parking violations, the press release said.
The program will help the city “better manage the rapid rise in delivery vehicles” as the demand for “very limited curb space has increased dramatically over the past decade,” Fred Kelley, director of the Oakland Department of Transportation, said in a statement.
Other local governments facing such issues, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, are using curb-management technologies to improve traffic flow, lower vehicle emissions from excessive idling and streamline parking enforcement.
In Oakland, permitted operators will have the option of sharing vehicle location data with Populous to pay for their use of curbside space on a per-minute basis instead of using cash or credit cards to feed meters. The permit holders will be billed quarterly for the parking time they use at the rate of three cents per minute. The permit is $3 per vehicle per year.
Populus’ technology uses the Curb Data Specification, an open data standard, to allow commercial fleet operators and local governments to share real-time information about regulations and curb activity. According to the Open Mobility Foundation, which oversees the standard, “event data can be derived from company data feeds, sensors, check-ins, and other city data sources.”
Local officials can use CDS information to “track curb usage session details and define common calculation methodologies to measure historic dwell time, occupancy, usage and other aggregated statistics,” according to OMF’s website.