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When parking is free and plentiful to employees, it can be difficult – but not impossible - to make an impact. There are two strategies to consider:

Implement preferential parking. 
Preferential Parking reserves the most desirable parking spaces for carpools and vanpools, thus encouraging employees to share the ride. Typically these spaces are covered or are located near entrances or elevators; these spaces are marked and employees are registered to use the spaces on a first-come first-serve basis or are assigned a specific ("reserved") space. The employees are issued an identifier for the vehicle such as a hang-tag or sticker. The effectiveness of preferential or reserved parking for carpools and vanpools is a direct result of the degree of convenience it represents to employees.

Reduce the supply of parking available to employees. When the amount of parking is reduced, employees may be more willing to consider alternatives to driving alone. Of course, when you implement reserved/preferential HOV parking, you effectively reduce the supply of SOV parking. Employers who lease office space should check on the cost of parking and determine if the number of allocated spaces can be reduced.

  • Consider converting SOV parking to the following:
  • A load/unload area Additional vendor or visitor parking
  • An outdoor recreation or meeting/dining area for employees
  • Green space

Before eliminating parking or making plans to convert parking areas to other uses, contact your local government to determine if a permit or variance will be required.

Steps to implementing a preferential
HOV parking program:


  1. Work with employees, management and labor to determine and distribute policies that define who is eligible to use a parking space and what will happen if employees abuse the policy.

  2. Determine how many spaces you’ll need and how you will monitor parking.

  3. Determine what other program elements you will offer to support ridesharing, for example: ridematching, guaranteed ride home, carpool/vanpool incentives or a subsidy.

  4. Design a registration system to identify those who are eligible for a parking space.

  5. Communicate the new policy – and help employees form carpools and vanpools – before implementing!