Parking Glossary

When it comes to parking, there is an overwhelming amount of terminology. We’ve painstakingly picked through every single term and have chosen these to be a part of our parking glossary. After providing clearer definitions of these various terms, our parking glossary is finally ready for the world.

ParqEx’s Parking Glossary

Access Control System:

An integrated system comprising various hardware & software components designed to regulate and manage access to designated parking areas or facilities. This access control system ensures controlled entry & exit by utilizing mechanisms such as electronic gates, identification credentials (e.g., access cards, key fobs, or mobile access), and monitoring devices. It offers a secure and efficient approach to managing access permissions, enabling authorized individuals to enter parking facilities while preventing unauthorized entry.

Ancillary Revenue:

Additional sources of revenue generated by offering supplementary products, services, or experiences that are separate from the primary revenue stream derived from parking space fees. Examples include valet services, car wash facilities, oil change services, vehicle maintenance, and repair, etc.

Artificial Intelligence:

The field of computer science & engineering focused on developing and implementing computational systems that can simulate human intelligence and perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. 

Barrier Arm:

A mechanical or automated physical device installed at a parking facility’s entry and exit points, typically consisting of a gate arm that can be raised or lowered. The barrier arm is a physical barrier that controls the flow of vehicles in and out of the parking facility.

Booking Engine:

A software system or platform that enables users to make reservations or bookings for parking through an online interface. A booking engine facilitates the seamless process of browsing, selecting, and confirming reservations or bookings, typically through a website or mobile application.

Booking Window:

The specific time duration or period during which a reservation can be made before the intended arrival date or the start of a service or event. The booking window represents the timeframe within which customers or users can make reservations for future dates.

Cashless Solution:

A payment method or system that enables transactions without physical cash. A cashless solution facilitates electronic payments through various digital or electronic means, such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, payment apps, or other forms of electronic payment.


The maximum or total number of parking spaces available within a specific facility or area. 


A written document, typically generated by a tablet or similar device, that records the details of a parking violation and outlines the charges or penalties associated with the infraction. A citation serves as an official notice or ticket given to the vehicle owner or operator, documenting the circumstances of the violation and providing instructions on how to address the issue.


Refers to a service, application, or infrastructure hosted on remote servers or data centers managed by a third-party provider. In cloud-based computing, resources and software are delivered over the internet on demand, allowing users to access and utilize them without needing extensive hardware or software infrastructure on their premises.

Contactless Payments:

A payment method that completes transactions without physical contact between the payment device and the payment terminal.

Controlled Access Parking:

A type of parking facility equipped with a comprehensive system of hardware and software components designed to regulate and control access to the parking area through gates or barriers. 

Dashboard Analytics:

A web-based interface or page that consolidates and presents real-time information from various sources in a visual and easily understood format. Dashboard analytics gives users a centralized view of key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics, and data, allowing them to monitor and analyze their business or operations’ status, trends, and insights.


The enforcement division within a department or organization responsible for ensuring compliance with parking rules and regulations determined by property owners or governing boards.

Entry Gate:

A physical barrier, typically in the form of a barrier arm or gate, positioned at the entrance of a parking lot or parking facility to control the flow of vehicles entering the area. Entry gates help with access control, security, traffic management, and revenue generation.

EV Charging:

Refers to the infrastructure and equipment designed to supply electric power for recharging the batteries of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). EV charging infrastructure may include charging stations installed at parking facilities.

Exit Gate:

A physical barrier, typically in the form of a barrier arm or gate, positioned at the exit of a parking lot or parking facility to regulate and control the flow of vehicles exiting the area. The purpose of an exit gate is to ensure that vehicles leaving the parking facility have completed the necessary processes, such as payment or validation, and to monitor the orderly departure of vehicles from the premises.

Free Exit:

Refers to a customer type or category that is granted permission to exit a parking facility without incurring any parking charges or fees. In this context, “free” indicates that the customer is exempt from paying for using the parking space during a specific period or under certain conditions. Free exit applies to validated parking, authorized personnel, and time-limited free parking.

Full-Service Parking Solution:

A comprehensive solution provided by a parking equipment and services provider that covers all aspects of a parking operation, including parking management services, parking equipment, technology innovations, construction, facility maintenance, and revenue processing.

Grace Period:

An additional time frame provided to a customer beyond their designated reservation or allotted time, allowing them a certain period to complete their activities without incurring additional charges or penalties. The purpose of a grace period is to offer flexibility and accommodate minor delays or unforeseen circumstances that may cause a customer to exceed their scheduled time.

Guest Parking:

Designated parking spaces set aside expressly for the use of guests or visitors of tenants or residents within a building or property. Guest parking areas provide temporary parking options for individuals without assigned parking privileges visiting or conducting business.

Length of Stay:

Hours or number of days that a car or vehicle remains parked within a parking facility, starting from the time of entry until the time of departure. The length of stay is a key metric to measure the duration of a vehicle’s presence in a parking facility. It can provide valuable insights into parking patterns, occupancy rates, and revenue generation.

License Plate Recognition (LPR):

A camera-based vehicle identification system that utilizes optical character recognition technology to capture, read, and interpret the license plate information of vehicles entering or exiting a parking facility. LPR systems are often integrated with Parking Access and Revenue Control Systems (PARCS) to enhance parking facility operations, security, and access control. Some key benefits of LPR include vehicle identification, entry and exit control, real-time monitoring, improved security, efficient parking management, and help with enforcement and revenue collection.


An uncovered parking area, typically referring to a designated space or location where vehicles can be parked. Unlike parking structures or garages, a lot does not have a roof or overhead cover, which exposes the parking spaces.

Machine Learning:

A subset of AI that develops algorithms and models to enable machines to learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions or predictions without explicit programming.

Market Intelligence:

Information and insights gathered through research, analysis, and monitoring of the parking market, including booking trends, competitor rates, and customer reviews. Market intelligence aims to comprehensively understand the market to support strategic decision-making and business planning.

Mobile Parking:

A parking operation or service that allows customers to conveniently pay for parking using an app on their mobile devices. Mobile parking offers an alternative to traditional payment methods, such as cash or physical payment machines, providing a more convenient and efficient parking experience.

Monthly Parking:

A parking arrangement where drivers can purchase a parking permit or subscription that grants them the right to park their vehicles in a designated parking facility for an extended period, typically every month. Instead of paying an hourly or daily rate for each visit, drivers pay a recurring fee for parking their vehicle in the facility for an entire month.


A no-show refers to a customer who has made a reservation but fails to arrive or utilize the booked parking spot without providing prior notice or cancellation.


This measures the percentage of total parking inventory or spaces occupied or used during a specific period.

Occupancy Forecast:

Occupancy forecast refers to an estimate or prediction of the expected occupancy level that a parking facility is anticipated to achieve during a specific period. Operators can optimize their operations and manage resources by having accurate occupancy forecasts.

On-Call Service Response:

On-call service response refers to a service provided by businesses or service providers to manage & respond to incidents or urgent client requests. It is typically available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to address critical situations requiring immediate attention or assistance.

On-Site Staff:

On-site staff refers to the employees who work directly at a parking facility and are responsible for various tasks related to parking facility maintenance, customer service, security and safety, payment and revenue management, traffic flow management, customer assistance, and conflict resolution. They are physically present on the premises to ensure the parking facility’s smooth operation and assist customers.


Optimization refers to the process of using forecasts, inventory management, configuration settings, and user interaction to calculate and determine the best pricing and inventory control decisions that will maximize revenue.


This refers to vehicles that remain parked or stay within a parking facility longer than the dates or period specified in their original booking or reservation. It indicates that the vehicle has exceeded the allotted or agreed-upon parking duration.


PARCS stands for Parking Access and Revenue Control System. It refers to a comprehensive system enabling parking operators to manage and control access to parking facilities while efficiently collecting user parking revenue. PARCS systems incorporate hardware and software components to streamline parking operations and enhance the parking experience. Some key components of the PARCS system include access control, ticketing and payment systems, revenue collection, parking guidance, reporting and analytics, and integration and scalability.

Parking Facility:

A parking facility, also known as a parking lot, parking garage, or parking structure, is a designated area, building, or structure specifically designed and utilized for off-street parking of vehicles.

Peak Occupancy:

This refers to the highest number of cars present within a parking facility during the busiest hour of the day. It represents the maximum level of occupancy reached within a specific time, typically measured daily. Peak occupancy is an essential metric for parking operators and planners as it helps in understanding and managing parking demand during the most intense period of activity.

Permitless Parking:

A parking system in which no physical parking credential, such as a paper permit or hangtag, is issued or must be displayed by the parker. Instead, the parking authorization is managed electronically, typically through a digital platform or mobile application. Permitless parking relies on technology and advanced systems to validate parking permissions and monitor compliance. 


Refers to requesting and securing parking spaces for a future arrival by making a reservation and completing the payment in advance. It allows individuals or organizations to guarantee a parking spot and ensure availability at their desired location and time. Pre-booking systems can help parking operators optimize their capacity, improve customer satisfaction, and streamline the parking operation.

Public Parking:

Public parking refers to parking facilities or areas that are open to the general public and not restricted solely to the tenants or visitors of a specific building or establishment. It is intended for anyone seeking parking.

Reserved Parking:

This type of parking refers to parking spaces designated and set aside specifically for specific users or groups of individuals. These spaces are typically reserved for specific purposes, such as employees, tenants, customers, or individuals with particular needs.


A scofflaw refers to someone who repeatedly violates parking regulations or laws by committing offenses or infractions. It is typically used to describe individuals who habitually disregard parking rules, regulations, or payment requirements, resulting in multiple parking violations.

Shared Parking:

Shared parking refers to an arrangement in which parking spaces are made available for public use during specific periods. This concept is commonly implemented when different entities own or manage parking spaces, such as commercial buildings, residential complexes, or mixed-use developments. Instead of dedicating parking spaces exclusively for a single use or tenant, shared parking allows multiple users or services to utilize parking resources efficiently.

Shoulder Days:

Shoulder days are days with lower occupancy or demand than peak days in a given time. In parking, shoulder days typically refer to the days between high-demand or peak periods, such as weekdays between busy weekends or off-peak seasons.

Turnkey Solution:

A turnkey solution in a parking operation refers to a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that provides an end-to-end approach to managing and operating a parking facility. It encompasses various components and services such as parking management services, revenue processing, and technology innovations required to implement and manage a parking operation successfully.


A violation refers to parking a vehicle in a manner that is against the law or local regulations. It occurs when a car is parked in a restricted or prohibited area or when parking rules and regulations are not followed. Violations can result in penalties, fines, or other consequences imposed by parking authorities or enforcement agencies.

Wayfinding System:

A system of visual cues, signage, or technology that guides and directs drivers to available parking spaces within a parking facility. A wayfinding system aims to improve the efficiency of parking operations, enhance the customer experience, and minimize the time and effort required to find an open parking space.