Expirable parking reservations for managing morning commute with parking space constraints

Wei Liu, Hai Yang, Yafeng Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


When total parking supply in an urban downtown area is insufficient, morning commuters would choose their departure times not only to trade off bottleneck congestion and schedule delays, but also to secure a parking space. Recent studies found that an appropriate combination of reserved and unreserved parking spaces can spread the departures of those morning commuters and hence reduce their total travel cost. To further mitigate both traffic congestion and social cost from competition for parking, this study considers a parking reservation scheme with expiration times, where commuters with a parking reservation have to arrive at parking spaces for the reservation before a predetermined expiration time. We first show that if all parking reservations have the same expiration time, it is socially preferable to set the reservations to be non-expirable, i.e., without expiration time. However, if differentiated expiration times are properly designed, the total travel cost can be further reduced as compared with the reservation scheme without expiration time, since the peak will be further smoothed out. We explore socially desirable equilibrium flow patterns under the parking reservation scheme with differentiated expiration times. Finally, efficiencies of the reservation schemes are examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-201
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bottleneck
  • Dynamic traffic equilibrium
  • Morning commute
  • Parking reservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Expirable parking reservations for managing morning commute with parking space constraints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this