Calgary ParkPlus Program

The Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada manages one of the most advanced automated parking systems in North America. First implemented almost seven years ago, the web-enabled ParkPlus system makes it easy for customers to pay for parking with pay machines or by cell phone while a GPS-enabled digital chalking and License Plate Recognition (LPR) system helps parking enforcement officers quickly and accurately detect parking non-payment violations.

In recent years, Calgary has emerged as one of Canada's corporate headquarters with a growing economy that thrives on oil and gas, tourism and high tech manufacturing. Economic and population growth has facilitated the construction of an increasing number of high rise steel and glass buildings along Calgary's narrow streets.

Unfortunately, increased multipath errors during parking zone checks diminished the parking enforcement system's reliability and efficiency.

The tight urban corridors can throw GPS positions off by 500-600 metres or more, creating considerable work for enforcement officers charged with reviewing each potential parking violation for positional accuracy.

Looking for a way to improve data accuracy and save time and money, the CPA agreed to test a NovAtel® SPAN® Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) plus Inertial Navigation System (INS) solutions on one of its city parking enforcement vehicles. The improvement in positional accuracy was so impressive that within three months, the CPA had installed the SPAN system on all of its city-based parking enforcement vehicles-and cut multipath errors to 1% saving considerable time, money and boosting morale throughout the agency.