'Real time' parking data coming to Edmonton

The City of Edmonton is researching technology that provides information on available parking stalls in "real time."

The technology involves sensors on each parking stall in city-managed parking lots that would relay information to an app and an online map, said James Donahue, parking project manager.

"As we've noticed the last couple of days with Teachers' Convention, our facilities do fill up," said Donahue. "The whole idea is to reduce that time it takes to be able to find a stall."

The technology would include digital signs on each level of a parkade indicating the number of available stalls.

Seven parkades managed by the Calgary Parking Authority are already using this type of technology, Donahue said.

The city has been watching the industry closely, he said.

"There have been some casualties with regards to implementations that have run into difficulty with the reliability of the equipment or maybe excessive costs," he said.

Installing the technology would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Donahue said.

"Infrastructure and servicing are probably the two key costs we want to make sure we can keep manageable," he added.

The city should be ready later this year to release a "request for procurement" towards selecting a company to provide the technology.

The city manages four parkades in the downtown area, with the Library Parkade likely the first to see this technology, Donahue said.