I believe the Edward Deming quote “In God we trust, all others bring data” should be emblazoned in every committee and council chamber at City Hall.
The Toronto Parking Authority seems to be pivoting towards a modern data driven foundation with their latest initiative. Check this out.
What will get interesting will be what happens next. Once there is a data flow of the number of parkers/coupon redeemers, cost per coupon redeemer, the spin will begin. I expect that the TPA will see a fairly low ratio of parkers to coupon redeemers. That just happens in retail however what could get challenged is the core concept that the TPA support local business. If there are few coupon redeemers does this mean that most parkers have a different purpose other than shopping? That puts the TPA on shaky ground as the mantra of supporting local business is their raison d’être.
On the other hand, what if there are lots of coupon redeemers? That would be great as the data gets more robust with more users however there is a cost of offering temporary price reductions. And then there is the question of whether the coupon was an incentive to buy or was the shopper going to buy anyway? And finally there is the worst question which is are local retailers training shoppers to expect coupon price reductions all the time. This is the worst of all worlds because it means the TPA is no longer supporting local business, it is just giving away margin (if the retailer pays for the coupon value) or it is subsidizing parking & Brazilian waxes (if the TPA pays for the coupon value).