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ABM Industries Partners with Smarking to Provide Chicago’s First Flexible Parking Experience

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

ABM Industries (ABM), a longtime Smarking partner, sought flexible and digital parking solutions to address the evolving needs of the “pandemic and post-pandemic parker.”

311 S Wacker, an ABM-Managed Garage Popular with SmartPass Users

Leveraging Smarking’s Industry Benchmark, ABM recognized three key trends accelerated by the pandemic:

  1. Decline in Full Monthlies: As workers shifted to a hybrid Home/Office work schedule, many no longer needed or sought full monthly parking passes (see Figure 1)

  2. Rise in Online Parking Reservations: Consumers increasingly purchased parking online in advance of arrival (see Figure 2)

  3. Smartphones as an “Everything” Tool: Consumers became even more reliant on smartphones–and smartphone technologies such as QR codes–as physical goods (menus, parking passes, etc.) shifted to digital ones (see Figure 3)

Figure 1: North America Monthly Off-street Parking Transaction Volume Compared to 2019

(Data Source: Smarking Industry Benchmark)

The recovery of Fully Monthly parkers has lagged Transient parkers

Figure 2: North America Monthly Off-street Parking Online Sales Transaction Volume Compared to 2019

(Data Source: Smarking Industry Benchmark via partnership with Arrive/Flash)

Online transactions have been growing, with current volume 40% above pre-pandemic levels

Figure 3: Number of Smartphone Users in the U.S. Scanning a QR Code, 2019 - 2022 (Millions)

(Data Source: eMarketer)

The number of smartphone users scanning QR codes increased

from 52.6M in 2019 to 83.4M in 2022

In order to address these trends and consumer needs, ABM partnered with Smarking and launched SmartPass, a suite of flexible, digital parking passes purchasable online in seconds.

With SmartPass, ABM was able to create curated parking passes, ranging from single-day passes, single-session vouchers, flexible number-of-day passes, hotel overnight passes, and full monthly passes. They were also able to create tenant-specific parking passes purchasable and usable only by specific building tenant groups.

SmartPass seamlessly integrated with ABM’s PARCs providers, allowing customers to scan a QR code of their SmartPass upon arrival.

With SmartPass, ABM Garage parkers can purchase the best pass to meet their needs, and simply scan the pass’s QR code upon arrival to enter

Smarking and ABM collaborated to promote SmartPass using a variety of methods:

  • Created building-specific websites with links to purchase passes (e.g., Metra Market)

  • Posted signage in and outside the garage

  • Created and distributed flyers

  • Contacted and educated HR officials at key employers at or near SmartPass buildings

  • Created online marketing & SEO campaigns

Today, SmartPass is offered by ABM at some of Chicago’s premier buildings and attractions, including 311 S. Wacker, 303 E. Wacker, Metra Mart, 625 W. Adams, and 811 N. Larrabee. In addition to increasing parker satisfaction, SmartPass is generating $50k+ in incremental annual revenue, without incremental labor or operating cost.

ABM continues to expand SmartPass and, in Q4 2022, will be launching at Chicago’s premier destination, Navy Pier, allowing employees and visitors to seamless reserve parking.

Chicago’s Navy Pier, an upcoming SmartPass site

SmartPass has been an essential tool to address the new and shifting needs of our parkers, and the Smarking team has been great to work with to ensure success at each of our garages. We look forward to expanding SmartPass across our portfolio.”

-Matt Andrews, Branch Manager, ABM

Interested in learning more? Email or call us at 855.949.4800.

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