Parking Revenue Management Terminology

So much jargon. So many acronyms. What does it all mean? Let our comprehensive glossary of parking business and revenue management lingo be your guide.


Ancillary Revenue

Revenue sources other than parking space revenue. Examples include valet, car wash, oil change, etc.

Arrival Types

A way to segment a parking business by tracking the arrival of customers by pre-book, drive-up, or free-exit.

Artificial Intelligence

The science of training machines to perform human tasks.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

Total revenue for a given time period divided by the total number of occupied parking spaces and days in that time period.

Average Transaction Value (ATV)

Total revenue for a given time period divided by the total number of transactions (customers/cars you served) in that period.


Barrier Arm

The physical barrier device located at the entry and exit of a parking facility to control customer entry and exit.

Barrier Column

A device located at the entry and exit to the parking facility. At entry the customer may take a timestamped ticket, insert a credit card, input a barcode or license plate recognition (LPR), etc. The same identifier is used at exit for payment or proof of pre-payment.


Parking inventory that has been sold or reserved.

Booking Curve

Visualization of the speed at which bookings materialize prior to the arrival date.

Booking Engine

The system that allows reservations to be made on a website.

Booking Pace

The speed at which bookings materialize over a period of time from the booking date to the arrival date. Booking pace is expressed as a fraction of bookings received on certain days in advance.

Booking Window

The timeframe in which a reservation is made and the actual arrival date.



The total number of parking spaces in a parking lot or garage.

Channel Management (CM)

Provides a way for parking businesses to manage their online sales channels.


Clusters define groups of parking facilities that share demand.

Cluster Yielding

The act of using price and product availability to shift demand from one parking facility to another (i.e., premium, remote) to optimize inventory across all facilities and maximize revenue.

Competitive Set

Other parking facilities in the area that compete for customers.


A company that sells the parking inventory of multiple companies.

Constrained Demand

The number of parking spaces that could be sold considering the lot or garage’s capacity or restrictions on bookings.



The price point the revenue management system chooses for a product and length of stay for a particular time.


The total number of parking spaces customers need for a particular time period.

Demand Forecast

The most statistically likely demand outcome based on predictive analytics.


Also known as roll-up or turn-up. A customer type that uses a parking space by entering the facility at the time the space is required without a prior reservation.

Dynamic Pricing

The practice of flexing price for a product based on market demand.


Fenced Rates

Rates a business uses to provide a series of options to customers. The rate is determined by which fences a customer accepts, which might include non-refundable, non-cancelable reservations and advanced-purchase reservations.

Forecasting Model

The statistical patterns used to predict demand, occupancy and revenue.

Free Exit

A customer type that occupies a parking space free of charge.


Grace Period

For drive-up, grace period refers to free time that is given the customer to leave the parking facility after they have made payment at an automatic payment machine. For pre-book, grace period is the additional time that is available to the customer outside of the booked entry and exit times on their reservation.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A quantifiable measure used to evaluate success in meeting objectives. For example: Revenue, Average Daily Rate (ADR), Average Transaction Value (ATV), Occupancy, and Revenue Per Available Space (RevPAS).


Last Space Value (LSV)

The maximum amount of revenue you can expect to make from the last parking space available for sale. The system uses LSV as a restriction control for low value rates during busy periods and opens all rates during slow times.

Length of Stay (LOS)

The number of days a car stays in the parking facility.

License Plate Recognition (LPR)

Camera-based vehicle identification system that can integrate with PARCS systems to track and/or enable entry and exit to a parking facility. Some parking facilities use LPR as a means to process payment or identify pre-booked customers.


Machine Learning

A subset of artificial intelligence that automates analytical model building. It is grounded in the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

Market Impact Pricing

Pricing influenced by competitor rates and dependent on competitor price data supplied by an external data feed.

Market Intelligence

Information related to a company’s market, including booking trends, competitor rates and customer reviews.

Market Segment (MS)

A portion of the customers who possess a common set of motivations as well as a combination of unique purchasing (e.g., pre-book vs. drive-up) and usage patterns (e.g., length of stay).



The case where some customers with a reservation never arrive to use the inventory reserved without explicit cancellation.

Non-Yieldable Rate

A rate that is never subject to evaluation against the LSV.


Occupancy (Occ)

Percentage of total parking inventory in use for a given time period. Occupancy = filled parking spaces/total spaces x 100 (e.g., 75% occupancy).

Occupancy Forecast

The constrained occupancy the parking facility is expected to achieve for a specified period of time. This value may be expressed either as a specific number of spaces or as a percentage of available spaces.

Occupancy, In-Lot or In-Park

The current number of cars occupying the parking facility, considering the cars that have already arrived and not considering any future arrivals, known or unknown.

Occupancy, On Books

The number of pre-booked cars currently holding a booking space at the parking facility on each of the selected days as per transaction.


The use of forecast, inventory, rate, configuration, and user interaction to calculate the best pricing and inventory control decisions that maximize parking revenue.


Pre-book cars staying longer than the dates for which they originally booked.


Parking Access and Revenue Control Systems (PARCS)

System for allowing parking operators to control access to facilities and collect parking revenues from users.

Peak Demand

The unconstrained demand for a parking facility during the busiest hour of the day.

Peak Occupancy

The number of cars in a parking facility (in the pre-book, drive-up, and free-exit categories) during the busiest hour of the day. Peak occupancy is constrained by the capacity of the parking facility.

Peak Utilization Factor

The percentage of total capacity in a parking facility the revenue management system should consider available for sale. By not making a certain volume of inventory available for sale, you can provide a safety buffer for unexpected peaks in occupancy or other unknown factors.


A way of requesting or reserving a parking space for future arrival by advance booking and payment.

Predictive Analytics

The use of advanced analytics to make predictions about unknown future events using historic and forward-looking data.

Price Sensitivity

Customer’s willingness to pay. Historical pace data is used to estimate how much a change in pricing impacts demand. Demand is either elastic or inelastic.


Rate Shopping System

An online service, such as IDeaS Competitor Price Monitor, that supplies competitor price data to parking businesses.

Remaining Demand

The system-calculated remaining unconstrained demand for an arrival date in the future, as of the processing date.

Revenue Management (RM)

The discipline of optimizing availability and price to maximize revenue. Simply put, selling the right product to the right person at the right time on the right channel for the right price.

Revenue Management System (RMS)

The system businesses use to control the supply and price of their inventory in order to achieve maximum revenue or profit by managing availability, products, stay patterns (future and historical), etc. 

Revenue Optimization

A business discipline and culture that focuses on balancing supply and demand in a rational and systematic way to maximize revenue and profit while managing risk under current and anticipated market conditions.

Revenue per Available Space (RevPAS)

Total revenue for a given time period divided by the total number of available spaces during that period. Typically expressed at a day level (RevPASD) or hour level (RevPASH).

Revenue Science

The discipline of infusing sophisticated mathematics with industry expertise to transform data into accurate, automated, and actionable revenue-enhancing decisions.


Shoulder Days

Days of less occupancy on either side of peak days.

Special Event

A date or set of contiguous dates for which the parking data cannot be forecasted in the normal fashion, or period(s) where the transient business pattern is different than normal.

System Override

A user-selected value that replaces the demand value calculated by the system.



A statistical calculation that forecasted business will materialize based on the level of volatility in that demand.

Unconstrained Demand

Refers to the number of parking spaces that could be sold if there were no constraints such as the facility’s capacity or restrictions on bookings. Unconstrained demand provides a complete picture of all the possible demand, not just the limited demand you accept. Also known as “true demand.”


Wayfinding System

Typically colored lights or signage that help customers identify empty parking spaces quickly and easily.


Yield Management

Set of strategies that help realize optimal revenues for capacity-constrained resources. The core concept of yield management is to provide the right service to the right customer at the right time for the right price by understanding, anticipating and influencing consumer behavior.


A product is said to be yieldable if its prices can be determined based on demand.