Downtown Improvement Blog

Parking and transportation are a challenge for most large downtowns, frustrating residents and visitors, and even discouraging trips downtown. Alleviating this concern can go a long way in making your downtown friendlier.

Make Parking Pleasant

The downtown experience often begins and ends in a parking garage or lot. An unfriendly or disinterested parking attendant sets a negative tone for the entire experience. For this reason, ensure that parking facility operating companies are committed to achieving high customer service standards.

As with ambassadors, personality should be a primary consideration when hiring parking lot attendants. Provide initial and ongoing training to parking lot attendants so they are able to adequately assist people. Training should include knowledge of downtown and having an “expert” knowledge of the most frequently asked questions.

Offer Parking Meter Change

Ambassadors are often asked if they have spare change or change for a dollar to help with parking meters. Train ambassadors to notice people parked at meters that appear to be searching for change. Ambassadorsshould greet the individual with a friendly smile and offer of assistance. They can provide change for the meter as well as additional information, like directions or marketing material.

Provide Transportation Options

Consider offering free access to designated bus routes during lunch hours to encourage downtown workers to visit local restaurants. Additionally, a public bicycle-sharing program offers the convenience and flexibility of a private vehicle, with the accessibility and reliability of public mass transit. They allow quick access to all areas of downtown, without the hassles of parking a car or waiting for transit schedules.

More Hospitality Tips

For more ways to bring hospitality to your downtown, download our free guide, 10 Ways to Make Your Downtown Improvement District Friendlier.

Your Turn

How does your downtown make parking and transportation friendlier?