Sparkman, The Smart Parking App: Optimizing Parking on College Campuses
Every vehicle trip starts and ends with parking, and shortages or misallocations of parking spaces not only lead to lost time, money and productivity but also to congestion, accidents, environmental impacts, and other surprising spillover effects. Universities face particularly complex parking problems due to the wide variety of trip types, users and facilities they serve. Setting the University of El Paso (UTEP) as a use case, PI Kelvin Cheu and his students developed a model for using a variety of inputs, including total demand, value of time, and a level of service (LOS) criteria they developed from survey data, to efficiently price parking permits. They incorporated this model into a software tool called SPARKMAN, which can be used by parking facilities management to predict parking demand, define parking zones, and efficiently set permit prices. Dr. Kelvin Cheu and Dr. Okan Gurbuz presented their LOS criteria and demonstrated how SPARKMAN can be used to broad positive impacts on recovering time costs, and reducing congestion not only on university campuses but on their surrounding neighborhoods as well.
Dr. Okan Gurbuz is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Research and Implementation Program at the El Paso office of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. His areas of expertise include Parking Demand/Supply, Pricing, Econometric Analysis, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and Innovative Transportation Finance. Dr. Gurbuz dissertation topic for his Ph.D. degree was “Decision Support Tools for Parking Management on University Campuses”. Although his focus was mainly on university campuses, since there had not been many studies for parking at university campuses, he had expanded his research to the extent that on and off-street parking for downtown areas and airport parking facilities.
Dr. Ruey Long (Kelvin) Cheu earned his Ph.D. in Transportation Systems Engineering at the University of California at Irvine in 1994. He was a tenured faculty member at the Department of Civil Engineering at the National University of Singapore until 2006, when he joined The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). At UTEP, Dr. Cheu is a tenured full Professor with the Department of Civil Engineering and directs the Border Intermodal Gateway (BIG) Transportation Laboratory. His research interest and expertise include applications of artificial intelligence in transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), traffic operations, highway capacity and geometric design, public and intermodal transportation, transportation logistics and transportation security.