Rocamadour is a sacred city perched on a cliff 150 meters above the Alzou canyon in the geopark of the Dordogne valley, in southern France. This UNESCO heritage site welcomes about 2 million visitors a year, who reach the city by car, bus or on foot - in fact, it is located along one of the famous Caminos de Santiago.
The large volume of visitors has always congested the access ways to the upper town, especially in the period April-October. Cars and buses can park in the 5 equipped areas located at the foot of the rock, which until 2019 were free of charge.
Rocamadour municipality has automated the lots and converted them into paid parking, so as to invest the revenues in the (high) maintenance of the historical and religious site.
Since the city is located in a biosphere reserve, specific rules aimed at protecting wildlife and the environment apply to the buildings and parking areas: both the paving of the 5 lots and the external appearance of all Jupiter devices have been adapted and customized accordingly.
The decision to automate the parking areas and centralize their management aimed at providing a better service to two categories of users: Rocamadour residents for 12 months of the year, and all visitors during the peak season months. For the former, LPR technology ensures license plate recognition and access in seconds; for tourists, parking and purchasing a pass for one or more days is efficient and just as fast.
The largest of the five parking facilities is Parking du Château P2, which includes 500 stalls for cars, buses and vans, and an elevator to provide easy pedestrian access to the citadel on top of the rock. For this reason it is mainly dedicated to groups reaching Rocamadour by coach, and the entry and exit columns are customized to facilitate drivers: the ticket is issued (on entry) and read (on exit) at double height for cars and for coaches.
To design the most suitable parking system for Rocamadour, HUB France took in consideration both the environmental restrictions posed by the biosphere reserve of Dordogne geopark, and the city peculiar geography, hanging from a cliff.
All 5 parking lots have been re-done starting from the paving, respecting the environment and using environmentally sustainable materials: there is almost no asphalt, but agglomerates of sand and soil that support the transit of vehicles. To avoid disruptive foundation works, peripherals are built on smaller foundation pits; to prevent parking lights from disturbing nocturnal animals, LED stripes have been removed from cabinets.
The particular ascending geography of Rocamadour somewhat complicates the subject of parking for visitors. That is the reason why the 5 parking lots are equipped with equally efficient Jupiter systems though declined as various devices, in order to cater for different categories of vehicles, visitors, and their requirements.
Residents always access parking areas through the recognition of their license plate, performed by Survision cameras and elaborated by JMS software: the approved list of plates is regularly updated through the software, and the entry/exit process takes a few seconds.
Visitors choose between a daily ticket or a multi-day pass, that is available for purchase and/or renewal 24/7 through the automated pay stations. This way, regardless of the time of the day and the presence of any parking staff, drivers enjoy complete autonomy.
All parking transits and transactions are monitored through the central control room, where JMS also integrates video surveillance. HUB France installed JMS on a local server and organized specific training for the municipality staff to use JMS and its advanced reporting independently.
Today, staff is able to remotely monitor, control and assist drivers in any parking lot in real time, providing efficient support. Timely support is fundamental to improve customer satisfaction, especially during the touristic peak season: transactions may sum up to 2300 per day and over 16,000 per week.
JMS advanced analysis capabilities easily visualize the performances of the parking lots, and provide flexible reports: by area, time, vehicle category, media type, and any combination of these to serves data mining purposes.
Reaching total process control and overview of the revenues is vital to Rocamadour administration, because the parking fees contribute to the maintenance of the historic site and its accessibility.