With a total retail space of more than 1.14 million square feet, Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla in Mumbai, is among the largest shopping malls in India. It has retail and commercial spaces on its premises, and the most popular high-street brands in India have opened their stores in the mall. Phoenix Marketcity is considered a premier lifestyle destination by residents of Mumbai, and the mall attracts a footfall higher than most shopping malls in the city.
Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla, hosts parking spaces for approximately 2400 vehicles, with two entry and exit gates. Until 2021, it operated with a conventional manual parking management system. The legacy setup featured boom barriers for access control, ticket dispensers for customer billing, and RFID card scanners to manage staff and tenant movement. Visitors were charged a parking fee at the exit based on the time they had spent inside the mall. The office goers in the same complex also faced issues finding a parking space and smooth movement going in and out of the complex. The payment modes were primarily cash and UPI-enabled online transactions.
The traffic congestion during weekends and public holidays, both at the entry and the exit, had become a significant problem that needed an effective solution. The mall management also required a seamless, cash-free, and contactless experience for the visitors, especially after the Covid19 pandemic
Additionally, the mall faced issues with
Low adoption of digital payment
High contact flow
High average exit time per car, leading to queuing at exit gates
Manual, time-consuming process of issuing monthly passes
Possible misuse of RFID cards
Lack of real-time reports on occupancy, traffic trends, and collections
The solution strategy centred around reducing cash transactions to a minimum, upgrading the technology to assist with traffic flow, segregating staff vehicles and visitor vehicles, and improving the transaction time.
FASTag is the most widely adopted technology for car movement control, and Park+ leveraged this to improve traffic flow.
Park+ upgraded the existing parking system at the mall by installing RFID readers and the associated infrastructure. Long-range readers could detect the FASTag on the vehicle's windshield. Parking charges were debited directly from the car’s FASTag account.
The mall managers can access an admin dashboard to check the number of entries, exits, and collections in real-time. The dashboard also provides routine reports on dwell time, repeat visitors, traffic distribution, and user demographics.
The mall manager can also add or remove staff and tenants from the system. The users are also given expiry alerts for monthly passes seven days in advance, giving them enough time to take necessary action. Pass renewals are also managed efficiently from the dashboard.
The parking system was made largely contactless. Collecting a ticket and paying cash to access parking slots is not needed. The transaction time was reduced from 30 seconds per car to 5–7 seconds.
Seamless and automated exits reduced queuing at the exit gates.
Linking FASTag to monthly passes, smart renewal, and visitor parking fees made car movement more efficient and eliminated misuse. With FASTag-enabled collection, the time spent on daily closing audits has reduced significantly.
Real-time, actionable insights on collections, traffic, repeat users, and demographics were available on the admin's dashboard for easy trackability and solutions. This reduced the management's dependency on manual efforts by the parking staff.
Altogether, Park+ provided highly advanced and efficient solutions to tackle the problems of car movement and parking at Phoenix Marketcity. The overall effect of technology-enabled parking assistance and seamless car movement at the entry and exit gates has led to a delightful experience at the complex.