Thirty percent of commuters would like to see an expansion of the Automated Parking Information System (APIS) that provides heavy-rail commuters with station parking availability information at en-route roadside locations.
The experience of commuters at the Glenmont Metrorail Station in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Made Public Date

Glenmont, Maryland, United States

Glenmont Metrorail Station Parking Structure: Glenmont, Maryland,
United States

Automated Parking Information System Operational Test Evaluation for WMATA Glenmont Parking Facility

Summary Information

This report was a before and after evaluation of the introduction of an Automated Parking Information System (APIS) near the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Glenmont Metro Station and the Maryland State Highways Administration (SHA) park and ride facility on Norbeck Road in Montgomery County, Maryland. The evaluation was conducted based on car counts and surveys of commuters in order to determine if the APIS message signs had provided helpful information to commuters of parking alternatives when the Glenmont parking structure was full. On typical weekdays, the parking structure reaches capacity before 8:15AM. The APIS was intended to provide commuters with information that would allow them to decide to drive to the next station or to utilize the SHA park and ride facility near the Glenmont station.
The study was conducted as a pre- and post-deployment analysis. Inbound vehicle counts were taken during the morning hours of operation to analyze capacity, and evening surveys of commuters who used those parking facilities were conducted in order to determine the effectiveness of the APIS signs during the morning commute. Commuter surveys were also conducted (post-deployment) at both locations which gathered information about each commuter's weekly ridership, typical parking location, usefulness of the APIS signs and their behavior as a result of seeing signs indicating that the parking structure was full.

The authors concluded that the APIS system is an effective tool for providing en-route parking information to commuters for the Metrorail system. Thirty percent of commuters surveyed at the Glenmont station said that they would like to see similar signs at other Metro stations, while only four percent said that they would not like to see more of these signs. The report found that the majority of commuters were not influenced greatly by the information provided by APIS when trying to find parking at or near the Glenmont Metrorail station. However, those that were influenced found the information to be helpful and accurate. These commuters either used the information to look for parking around the station rather than at it, or they drove to the next station eight miles southeast where there were spots available. Despite suggestions from the APIS signs, very few commuters used the park and ride facility on Norbeck Road, largely due to uncertainties about safety, a low frequency shuttle schedule, and distance from the actual station. The commuters found the information about the full parking facility more important than the information about alternatives since most were daily commuters who have already developed their own set of alternatives.