Picking Parking Lot Access Barriers
U.S. and Canada Class I carload traffic declined YoY by -0.4 percent, reflecting a 110-bps decline from August. This was the first YoY decline since October 2016. As the chart above depicts, investors should get used to seeing 2017’s performance much closer and/or below at times, to that of 2016 from this point forward. Previously strong performing commodities including coal, grain and motor vehicles and equipment will continue to face higher comps from last year. We may see a return to positive territory next month, post-hurricane volatility, but we won’t get a sense of this until the upcoming weeks. Despite being negative, September’s performance was only marginal YoY; this has been a trend over the past three months. This month broke the previous 10 consecutive months of YoY growth. Through the year, all Class Is in the U.S. and Canada have maintained positive carload traffic, with the exception being CSX. CSX have witnessed three consecutive monthly declines YoY, Union Pacific has witnessed two consecutive, and BNSF’s performance was flat coming off of two consecutive monthly declines. For Class I carload top five commodities, coal turned negative YoY down at -0.8 percent, versus the 3.9 percent gain during August. This was the first time for negative YoY performance since November 2016. Performance for Class Is during the month was as follows; Kansas City Southern 8.8 percent, Norfolk Southern 7.2 percent, Canadian Pacific 2.8 percent, CSX 2.6 percent, BNSF 0.7 percent, Union Pacific -8.2 percent and Canadian National at -20.7 percent. Coal performance may continue to see some negativity in the near-term. Chemicals performance was up 2.7 percent during September YoY, versus the 1.7 percent performance during August. Performance for Class Is during the month was as follows; Canadian Pacific 10.9 percent, Norfolk Southern at 8.5 percent, Union Pacific 4.1 percent, Canadian National 3.4 percent, BNSF at 2.1 percent, Kansas City Southern -0.6 percent and CSX -7.2 percent. Chemicals will look to continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Source: Class I websites and personal database, carloads carried Motor vehicle and equipment performance declined at -8.1 percent during September YoY, versus a -5.9 percent decline in August. Performance for Class Is during the month was as follows; BNSF 9.4 percent, Kansas City Southern -1.1 percent, Canadian National -7 percent, Norfolk Southern at -10.2 percent, Union Pacific at -10.6 percent, CSX at -13.6 percent and Canadian Pacific at -14.1 percent. September’s negative performance was the worst during 2017 and reflected the fifth negative month out of the past six. Grain performance declined strongly, at -13.9 percent during September YoY, versus the -16.9 percent decline during August. Performance for Class Is during the month was as follows; Norfolk Southern 14.5 percent, Kansas City Southern at 3.4 percent, Canadian Pacific -7.9 percent, CSX at -14.1 percent, Canadian National -17.6 percent, BNSF -19.6 percent and Union Pacific -24.4 percent.
LOS ANGELES — The last coin-operated meter was yanked out of the Portland, Oregon downtown area in 2016 and now resides in a local historical museum. Welcome to the future, where you'll never have to scrounge for quarters and may soon add parking to your list of monthly subscriptions, after Netflix and Spotify. Today, visitors to the downtown area's 1,900 parking meters use the Portland "Parking Kitty," a high-tech meter that connects to a smartphone app. The app purrs when you pay and "meows" 3 minutes before your time expires to remind you to get back to the car or to request and pay for additional time. High-tech parking isn't unique to Portland, and it's probably coming to a meter near you. Coin meters have given over to digital meters in eight of the top 10 U.S. cities, with various levels of sophistication. Meters that began with pay-by-phone have expanded to a current mix of pay via credit card and/or apps. The next phase of the technology, which uses cameras to automatically track your parking via license plates and then charges your account, has now started to roll out in some cities. It's already raised some concerns over privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union, on its website, notes that license plate readers are used for way more than making parking easier. They're also tracking our every move. The readers "have the potential to create permanent records of virtually everywhere any of us has driven, radically transforming the consequences of leaving home to pursue private life, and opening up many opportunities for abuse." For cities, the incentive is big: higher revenues and fewer human resources devoted to checking meters. And the apps (ParkMe, SpotHero) also give drivers additional perks, such as tools to find open spaces or remind you ( Parker ) where you parked. News Release: @iammoshow the Cat Rapper & PBOT debut new music video "Parking Kitty" https://t.co/AalzfDDGd4 WATCH: https://t.co/NON6zTtBSF pic.twitter.com/cwdovvHg5i — PDX Transportation (@PBOTinfo) September 12, 2017 "Ten years ago the parking industry didn't have all these options. We're trying to evolve as quickly as possible," says Malisa McCreedy, division manager of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Launched in May, Parking Kitty represents 6% of Portland's parking transactions. The Parking Kitty app purrs and meows when it's time to feed the meter in the Portland area. As consumers' financial options changed, more carrying plastic than coins, the industry gave pay-by-phone a try. But it's a complicated process that requires writing down a code advertised by the meter, calling an assigned phone number, and typing in the digits and your credit card number. As such, usage for the pay-by-phone offering is in the "single digits," in Boston, says Kristopher Carter, co-chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston. Apps linked to credit cards have been far more popular, representing 75% of Boston payments. The ParkBoston app, just two years old, tallied 3 million transactions last year for Boston's 8,000 spaces. Parking revenue is up, and the issuing of tickets is down, Carter adds. "It's easier to pay and avoid tickets when you get a countdown on your phone with an audible alert," Carter says. With the apps like ParkBoston, a smartphone owner downloads the app, registers and stores credit card information. When you park, you type in the code and confirm the license plate, which identifies your car. The average fee to use the apps to pay is 35 cents on top of the parking transaction. Screenshot of the Parking Kitty app, where Portland, Oregon parkers can pay for their time (Photo: Portland Bureau of Transportation) Two companies dominate the municipal parking-by-app at meters: Charlotte-based Passport, which does the Portland app along with apps for Boston, Chicago, London and other large cities, and Atlanta-based ParkMobile, whose app works with meters in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and San Jose. ParkMobile is launching later this year in Phoenix and Passport is bringing its app to the San Antonio and the Los Angeles Metro parking lots, where commuters park before landing a morning train in to work. As with the recent parking app introduced at tony L.A. shopping mall the Westfield Century City, once you download the app, you don't even have to type in a code. Cameras recognize the license plate of the car and bill you accordingly. Westfield says the technology will be coming to other of its malls in 2018. "License plates are where the industry is headed," says Bob Youakim, the CEO of Passport.