An Ethiopian businessman Gemshu Beyene has opened a seven-storey smart parking building, which has already begun partial service.
The Elilly Hotel management says that the parking facility together with its basement has a parking capacity of around 254 vehicles at a time.
Gemshu Beyene who is the owner of the five-star hotel said that the building’s parking structure is part of the large-scale expansion of the Hotel, which will cost over an estimated 800 million Br when complete.
Mr Beyene reckons that the structure will help address the issues of street parking in the capital Addis Ababa, which is becoming a nuisance.
Smart parking systems are automated to help drivers reserve and pay for parking. The parking service at Elilly will be available for three types of users, for whom the parking structure will issue different cards.
“A monthly parking card is issued for permanent clients,” said Bizuwerk Mulugeta, information technology manager at Elilly . “Customers can extend the duration as they wish and there is no fixed price.”
Walk-in guests will be issued with a temporary card and will be charged 10 Br an hour for parking for each vehicle, according to Bizuwerk.
on the other hand Users who are guests at the Hotel, or users of its other services, outside of parking, are usually given a free card.
“People who come for meetings and other events will be able to use the parking as part of their event package,” said Bizuwork.
Shortage of foreign currency
However, Mr Gemshu says that the current challenge is shortage of foreign currency.
The parking structure took two years to construct while the rest of the expansion project, which began almost three years agois at 80 per cent complete.
Elilly is constructing two more hotels in Burayu and Bishoftu, Oromia Regional State, two popular tourist and recreational centres in the country. The construction is undertaken by Gebe Construction, a sister company of Elilly.
Other smart parking structures for the public are being built in Addis Abeba and other cities.Several African countries have introduced smart parking in a bid to cut revenue loses and reduce paper work.