Glossary of Terms

This platform is intended for parking professionals, however, if you are new to the industry you may come across some terms here that you are not familiar with. We want everyone to get the full benefit of our site so we have created a glossary of terms and abbreviations that you may come across whilst on here! 

Parking Terms

  1. Access Control System: A system that regulates entry and exit points of a parking facility, ensuring authorized access and enhancing security.
  2. ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition): A technology that uses optical character recognition to automatically read and process license plate numbers for access control, parking enforcement, or security purposes.
  3. Automated Parking System: A parking solution that utilizes robotic mechanisms to automate the process of parking and retrieving vehicles, maximizing space efficiency.
  4. Automatic Pay Station: A machine that accepts payment and validates pay-parking access tickets without cashier assistance. These machines accept bills or coins. These machines are also known as "Pay-On-Foot."
  5. Barrier Gate: A physical gate or barrier that restricts vehicle access to a specific area until proper authorization or payment is provided.
  6. Barrier System: A physical or automated system that blocks or allows access to parking areas, often consisting of gates or barriers.
  7. Barrierless System: Instead of using barriers to control who can access a site, operators monitor the site and use enforcement and dynamic pricing to encourage users to comply with time restrictions and enforce payment.
  8. Benchmark: A standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed.
  9. Bike Share: A service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a very short-term basis.
  10. Carsharing: A program in which a fleet of cars is utilized by members of a car rental system, which provides members the short-term use of a car as needed, eliminating the need to own a personal vehicle.
  11. Citation: A notice or ticket issued to a vehicle owner for violating parking regulations, typically including information about the violation and associated penalties.
  12. Congestion Pricing: A strategy that involves varying parking fees based on demand and occupancy levels to manage traffic congestion in busy areas.
  13. Controlled Access Facility: Any surface lot or parking garage that requires an access device or dispenses a ticket to gain access.
  14. Demand Management and Transportation Demand Management/ TDM: A set of strategies designed to influence the mode-choice, frequency, timing, route-selection, or trip-length of travel behavior to promote efficient and sustainable use of transportation resources.
  15. Digital Payment System: A cashless payment method that allows drivers to pay for parking electronically, often through mobile apps or online platforms.
  16. Enforcement: The process of monitoring and ensuring compliance with parking regulations, often carried out by parking attendants or enforcement officers.
  17. EV Charging: Infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles, including all-electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids.
  18. Fee Structure: The pricing system or rate schedule used to determine parking fees, including hourly rates, daily rates, and any additional charges.
  19. Gateless Parking: Another terms barrierless systems, gateless parking utilizes advanced technologies, such as license plate recognition, to automate vehicle entry and exit without the need for physical barriers or gates.
  20. Green Parking: Parking facilities that incorporate environmentally friendly practices, such as electric vehicle charging stations, bike racks, or green infrastructure.
  21. Gross Floor Area/ GFA: The area within the perimeter of the outside walls of a building, frequently utilized in determining the number of parking spaces to accommodate particular uses.
  22. Handicap Access Aisle: An area adjacent to a handicap parking space usually marked with striped lines. These areas should remain clear of vehicles and obstacles at all times to provide easy access for disabled individuals entering and exiting their vehicles.
  23. Handicap Parking Space: Usually designated by the universal handicap symbol on a sign posted in front of the space. These areas provide parking on campus to any vehicle displaying a handicap permit.
  24. In Lieu Fee: An in lieu fee is an amount of money a developer pays the government in place of building a parking facility to serve his or her development.
  25. License Plate Recognition (LPR): A technology that uses optical character recognition to automatically read and record license plate numbers for vehicle identification and tracking.
  26. Load Zone: A type of on-street space usually found in front of (or near) businesses and apartment buildings that allows short-term use (such as 3 minutes or 30 minutes) for loading and unloading (such as to drop off or pick-up passengers). Parking is not allowed in load zones, and violation of the terms of the load zone puts you at risk of a ticket, or in some cases, being towed.
  27. Lot: Uncovered parking area.
  28. Lot-sharing Agreement: An agreement between the owner of a parking facility (usually a privately-owned or pay lot, or the parking garage of an institution such as a hospital or business) and one or more clients (such as a business, a church, or a community organization) that allows the client to use the parking facility under certain terms. For instance, a church may have a lot-sharing agreement with a nearby hospital that church-goers may park in the hospital lot on Sunday mornings without risk of being ticketed or towed. Many times, the client pays a fee to the owner of the parking facility as part of the agreement.
  29. Mitigation Report: Mitigation reports define the impact of changes on parking supply and provide complementary solutions such as space relocation, striping, or closure.
  30. Multi-space Meters: A device used to manage several parking spaces in a one-block area, particularly in regard to collecting any fees associated with parking in a particular space.
  31. Off-Street Parking: Parking facilities located away from the street, typically in multi-level garages, lots, or structures.
  32. Offsetting Peaks: A mix of land uses, such as office with daytime workers, and restaurants with eveningcustomers, that creates high levels of demand for parking at different times throughout the day.
  33. Occupancy Sensor: A device used to detect the presence of a vehicle in a parking space, helping to monitor occupancy levels and guide drivers to available spaces.
  34. On-Street Parking: Parking spaces located alongside or on the street, often regulated by parking meters, time restrictions, or permits.
  35. Parking Facility: Generally defined as a building, structure, land, used for off-street parking of motor vehicles. This may be expanded to include bicycles.
  36. Parking Guidance: A parking guidance system is an automatic electronic system that presents updated information to drivers entering a parking area and helps to direct them to available parking spots, to ease congestion and save time.
  37. Performance Pricing: Parking pricing means that motorists pay directly for using parking facilities. Parking pricing may be implemented as a TDM strategy (to reduce vehicle traffic), as a Parking Management strategy (to reduce parking problems), to recover parking facility costs, to generate revenue for other purposes (such as a Transportation Management Association or downtown improvement district), or for a combination of these objectives.
  38. Permit Parking: A designated parking area where only authorized permit holders are allowed to park, usually enforced through permit display or license plate registration.
  39. Public Parking: Parking that is not restricted to the tenants or visitors of any building or complex of buildings.
  40. Reserved Parking: Spaces that are set aside specifically for certain users, rather than spaces that can be used by anyone.
  41. Revenue Control System: A comprehensive system that manages various aspects of parking operations, including fee collection, reporting, and equipment integration.
  42. Single-Space Meter: A parking meter that controls and monitors parking for individual parking spaces, typically accepting coins, credit cards, or digital payments.
  43. Shared Parking: Shared parking is defined as parking that is available as public parking during specified periods of time.
  44. Software: Software is anything that tells hardware what to do and how to do it, including computer programs and apps on your phone.
  45. Standing: A condition where a vehicle is stopped but attended by the operator. Standing vehicles are usually found where the vehicle operator is waiting to load/unload passengers or cargo in an area not approved for parking.
  46. TDM (Transportation Demand Management): A practice that reduces the demand placed on a transportation network of a neighborhood, city, or region. TDM programs encourage people to consider modes of transportation other than driving alone (as a single-occupancy vehicle trip) or to make trips during non-peak times.
  47. Time Restriction: A limit imposed on the duration of parking in a particular area, often indicated by signage or enforced through time-limited parking meters or permits.
  48. Transit: Refers to all mass transportation systems such as buses, light rail, commuter rail, and monorail.
  49. Unbundling: The offering of parking spaces as an option that is distinct from the purchase or lease of a dwelling unit.
  50. Utilization (Parking): A measure of the number of cars parked relative to the number of parking spaces.
  51. Dynamic Pricing: Dynamic pricing means that the cost changes depending upon time of day, season or location of the parking. It adjusts costs based on customer demand.
  52. Valet Parking: A service where drivers leave their vehicles with valet attendants who park and retrieve the vehicles on their behalf, often used in hotels, restaurants, and event venues.
  53. Validation: The process of verifying and authorizing discounted or free parking for customers, usually provided by businesses, such as restaurants or retail establishments, as an incentive for customers to return.
  54. Wayfinding: The use of signage, markings, and digital displays to guide drivers efficiently through a parking facility, helping them locate available spaces and navigate the layout.
  55. Yield Management: A pricing strategy that involves adjusting parking rates based on demand, availability, and peak periods to optimize revenue and space utilization.

Parking Abbreviations 

  1. AAA: American Automobile Association
  2. ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act
  3. ALPR: Automatic License Plate Recognition
  4. ANPR: Automatic Number Plate Recognition
  5. APD: Automated Parking Dispenser
  6. API: Application Programming Interface
  7. AVI: Automatic Vehicle Identification
  8. BPA: British Parking Association
  9. BPS: Barrier Parking System
  10. CCTV: Closed-Circuit Television
  11. CTA: Clear to All
  12. DPU: Displayed Parking Unit
  13. EAS: Electric Access System
  14. EIS: Electronic Information System
  15. EV: Electric Vehicle
  16. EVCS: Electric Vehicle Charging Station
  17. FOB: Free On Board
  18. GPC: General Purpose Card
  19. HID: High-Intensity Discharge
  20. HPS: Horizontal Parking System
  21. HUB: Helpdesk Utility Box
  22. ICT: Information and Communication Technology
  23. IoT: Internet of Things
  24. LPR: License Plate Recognition
  25. LSE: License Plate-Enabled
  26. LPRC: License Plate Reader Camera
  27. LPT: License Plate Technology
  28. LPTM: License Plate Ticketing Machine
  29. NFC: Near Field Communication
  30. OBE: On-Board Equipment
  31. OCR: Optical Character Recognition
  32. OPD: Outdoor Parking Dispenser
  33. PARCS: Parking Access and Revenue Control System
  34. PAVS: Parking Access and Vehicle Security
  35. PBX: Private Branch Exchange
  36. PGS: Parking Guidance System
  37. PIP: Parking In Progress
  38. PIT: Parking In Transit
  39. PNR: Parking and Transportation Management
  40. POS: Point of Sale
  41. RF: Radio Frequency
  42. RFID: Radio-Frequency Identification
  43. RPS: Robotic Parking System
  44. TDM: Transportation Demand Management
  45. TMA: Transportation Management Association
  46. TNC: Transportation Network Company
  47. TPA: Third Party Administrator
  48. TPS: Traffic and Parking System
  49. TTMS: Ticket Tracking Management System
  50. UTC: Urban Traffic Control
  51. VAC: Vehicle Access Control
  52. VDS: Vehicle Detection System
  53. VMS: Variable Message Sign
  54. VPD: Vehicles Per Day
  55. VPS: Vehicle Parking System
  56. VRS: Vehicle Registration System
  57. VRT: Vehicle Registration Terminal
  58. VTS: Vehicle Tracking System
  59. WIM: Weigh-in-Motion

Something missing? E-mail us at [email protected] if you would like a term added.