Mar 17, 2021

Going Big in Aspen: Smart Zone Pilot Program Expansion

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Doneliza Joaquin

Program Manager

Coord is excited to announce that it is extending and expanding its Smart Zone partnership with the City of Aspen. Known for its natural beauty and year-round outdoor activities (offering locals and visitors the opportunity to ski, snowboard, hike, raft, and more), Aspen, Colorado was one of four cities selected to take part in Coord’s inaugural Digital Curb Challenge. Launched in November 2020, Aspen deployed Smart Zones in both on-street curb spaces and alleyways.

What’s a Smart Zone?
For a refresher:

  • Smart Zones are spaces along the curb (or alley) that cities digitally manage and operate
  • In Aspen, they are dedicated to commercial vehicles loading and unloading goods
  • The program provides drivers with advanced curb intelligence to navigate directly to available space using a mobile app, reducing illegal parking and circling
  • It provides cities with valuable data and tools to optimize their curb space to meet competing community needs

What We’ve Learned So Far

About one month into the program, we shared some initial updates, including that we had 28 fleets onboard, We are now up to 38! The busiest times for loading are between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m, Tuesdays and Fridays are the busiest days of the week for loading, and the average stay at a Smart Zone is 34 minutes.

Use of Smart Zones continues to grow. The number of sessions booked during the first two weeks of March 2021 was 40% higher than in the first 2 weeks of December 2020, even though December is part of Aspen’s peak winter tourist season when more deliveries are required to serve hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.

We’ve also been continuing to get feedback from fleets and drivers and have been implementing new features based on those conversations. This includes making booking a space faster (reducing the amount of time a driver needs to interact with the app) and automatically ending a booking for a driver if they don't remember to do it. One of our Smart Zone users, Matt, a fleet driver from Alsco (a linen rentals and uniforming cleaning company) even gave us a glimpse of a day in the life of a delivery driver.


What Coming Next?

Aspen is adding five Smart Zones in April (putting the total to 16), including new on-street and alley zones. The new locations and hours are based on peak demand for deliveries as identified by data collected on sessions in Coord Driver and from fleet and driver interviews. The number of Smart Zones available in alleys is nearly doubling because of both their popularity with drivers and findings that they improved the safety and efficiency of the alleys.

Aspen Map - New April 2021 Smart Zones Highlighted

As summer approaches, locals and tourists will be switching their skis and snowboards for hiking boots and kayaks. And as group indoor activities become safer, increased dining and entertainment activity is expected, including at popular music venue Belly Up. This will bring in a new set of commercial vehicles to the area, in addition to year-round beverage, food, and linen providers.

We’ll be sharing more findings from the first phase of the pilot, stay tuned for updates!

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Doneliza Joaquin

Program Manager

Doneliza is a program manager at Coord. She is helping to deploy Coord’s Smart Zone pilots and programs. Previously she has worked as an urban research team leader at the real estate listing startup Localize.city, as a management consultant focusing on public sector and non-profit organizations, and as an adjunct professor at Barnard College teaching courses in GIS mapping and analysis. Outside of work, Doneliza enjoys running in the city, preferably including a bridge or two, and exploring running routes when traveling.