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This is how the coronavirus has changed our parking habits

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It was a year ago at the beginning of March that the coronavirus came into our lives. The first restrictive measures were introduced in mid-March 2020 in this Hungary, so we’ve been living our daily lives under strict rules for a year now.
The epidemic and its associated restrictions, like many other areas of life, have changed parking habits. These changes are clearly reflected in the data provided by our Smart Parking solution.

The analysis below looks at how the average occupancy of parking spaces in Budapest’s 5th district has changed, comparing January-February 2020 and 2021.

Perhaps one of the most striking changes is the increase in daytime occupancy of parking spaces during weekday peak hours (8:00-13:00). In numerical terms, this means that average occupancy has increased to 98%, while pre-coronavirus occupancy has averaged around 92%. This may not seem like a significant difference at first glance, but in practice it means that it is almost impossible to find a free parking space during this period – the number of free parking spaces has fallen by an average of 75%:

the average number of free parking spaces available to motorists in the V district during peak times before the coronavirus was over 400, but during the pandemic this dropped to just under 100.

The effects of curfews and the closure of restaurants, some shops and nightclubs are most noticeable in evening and weekend occupancy figures, which is not surprising in itself, as this is when people typically go out to socialise. What’s more interesting is the extent of this decline: before the pandemic, parking occupancy rates were between 85% and 97% all day on weekends, but during the epidemic it was more like 70-80%.

The most striking drop is seen on Saturday evenings: before the epidemic, on average 95% of parking spaces were occupied, during the epidemic this dropped to just over 70%.

In District V, this means a backlog of nearly 1,300 cars and their passengers on an average Saturday evening.

It can be seen that finding a parking space during the peak season is typically even more challenging for drivers. The Smart Parking solution deployed in the city centre addresses this problem, among others, with the Parker app, which helps users find free parking spaces.

Smart Lynx Ltd. Smart Parking solution has been in operation since 2019 in more than 4,700 parking spaces in the V 5th district of Budapest and 100 parking spaces in the 13th district.

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