01 February 2023
The work and student parking rate - which allows people to park cheaper and longer - has existed in Bruges for some time. Until now, however, it could only be used via parking meters. From February 1, 2023, people entitled to this cheaper rate can activate it via SMS or app. To facilitate this, the city of Bruges partnered with the 4411 service (Be-Mobile).
The work and student rate
The city of Bruges introduced the work and student rate to ensure that the city remains accessible to these target groups. For example, workers and students do not want to be forced to move the car after four hours of parking and pay a high rate during work and education hours.
Anyone with a permanent workplace in the city center can apply for the work rate. After the license plate is validated by the Parkeerwinkel, the user can use this cheaper rate for one year to park above ground in the city center. This then costs 3 euros per day. People taking classes at one of the approved adult education centers can apply for the student rate. They can park above ground any day of the week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 5 euros per day. Both special rates are charged in full at the beginning of the session and are not related to actual parking time. All work and student sessions automatically end at 8 p.m. that same day.
"Until now, the work and student rate could only be used via the parking meters," says Koen Vansteenland, mobility expert at the city of Bruges. "This caused problems during the morning rush hour, such as queues at the parking meter or server overloads that caused difficulties in activating this rate. These problems will occur less now that the rates can be activated via text message or the app," Koen continues. All individuals who are entitled to and sign up for this reduced rate are stored in a database that was linked by Be-Mobile to the 4411 app.
Parking at a cheaper rate with 4411
People can benefit from the work or student rate by renewing their subscription at the e-desk or at Bruges' physical parking shop (Parkeerwinkel). This subscription is linked to a specific license plate which is automatically validated by 4411 when starting a parking session. The correct rate is automatically charged without any additional action by the user. Walking to the parking meter is also no longer necessary. In addition, users receive a monthly billing statement, eliminating the need to pay daily.
In Bruges, street parking in the city center can already be activated via the 4411 app or via SMS to 4411. Visitor vouchers can also be activated via 4411 in the same way. “With the addition of this extra functionality, 4411 wants to optimize the digital parking experience of the residents of Bruges. By making all parking services available via one app, the life of the parker is simplified”, says Fiorina Delia, Offering Manager at 4411. As with a typical parking session via SMS or app, the service does have transaction costs. That amounts to 0.35 euros per session, or 0.15 euros per SMS sent or received.
A good example of traffic management
“By using specific rates for specific target groups, a city can control mobility on its territory,” says Wouter Van de Wiele, Offering Manager at Be-Mobile. “The city of Bruges uses cheaper rates for employees and students, but the solution is much more widely applicable. Think of parking garages where it is cheaper for hospital staff, a cheaper rate on the street for care providers at home, or even cheaper parking at the train station for people with a train season ticket. The possibilities are endless."
More information about the work and student rate and how to apply for this can be found on the website of the city of Bruges.
More information about using the 4411 app and activating a parking session can be found on the 4411 website.
"Until now, the work and student rate could only be used via the parking meters. This caused problems during the morning rush hour, such as queues at the parking meter or server overloads that caused difficulties in activating this rate. These problems will occur less now that the rates can be activated via text message or the app."
- Koen Vansteenland, mobility expert at the city of Bruges.