Ranchi’s colour-coded parking fee areas
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Brief summary of this reform
Ranchi improved the parking management on a 2.5 km of its main street, Mahatma Gandhi Rd. Four zones were delineated (red: no parking; orange: high-demand, high prices; yellow: medium demand and slightly lower-prices; green: low parking pressure and even lower prices). The prices were much higher than those of the the past and collection efficiency was improved. The city's parking revenue increased twelve-fold, according to ITDP India.
Unfortunately, this success has not been built upon.
Why should you care?
Ranchi was a pioneer in India of relatively high hourly on-street parking prices.
The creation of four zones to reflect different levels of parking demand is an excellent feature of this reform. This would have been more robust if it had included routine price reviews based on demand (occupancy for example).
The huge increase in revenue that was achieved suggested that most cities in India could be gaining much more revenue from on-street parking than they had been.
Unfortunately, the paper and cash based fee collection, problems with contracts, a lack of evidence-based price reviews, and a focus on revenue seems to have undermined the early healthy focus on parking management and led to political problems for the reform.
Perhaps, Ranchi could reap BOTH revenue AND street parking management benefits if the primary focus of the effort can return to parking management and if contracting policies, fee-collection methods and price-review practices can be improved.
Key actor type
City of Ranchi
orderly parking (usually for wider benefits too)
Ranchi Municipal Corporation
Is it a model or a warning?
remains to be seen
Main parking category
Main parking paradigm shift
City-owned (both on-street and off-street)
Towards more responsiveness to context/market
Adaptive Parking thrust
P: Price parking in the right ways and with the right rates for each place and time
Goals of the reform
Improved parking conditions and traffic conditions were stated goals.
But revenue appears to have been high on the agenda too in the minds of local leaders.
Technical assistance from ITDP India which encouraged a focus on parking management goals of achieving less over-burdened on-street parking through higher prices in the highest demand locations. The idea was that improved conditions in the street should be the focus while increased revenue was welcome as well and was a selling point for decision makers.
Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)
Parking chaos, very low levels of revenue for the city from previous parking fee contracts, and the opportunity of technical assistance from ITDP India seem to have prompted this reform.
Detailed description of the reform
Ranchi improved the parking management on a 2.5 km of its main street, Mahatma Gandhi Rd.
Four zones were delineated (red: no parking; orange: high-demand, high prices; yellow: medium demand and slightly lower-prices; green: low parking pressure and even lower prices).
Prices in 2017:
* Orange zone - Rs 40 (USD 0.63) per hour for cars and Rs 10 per hour for two-wheelers.
* Yellow zone - initial 2 hours, Rs 30 for cars (four-wheelers) and Rs 10 for two-wheelers then Rs 30 per hour for cars and Rs 10 per hour for motorcycles.
* Green zone - initial 3 hours, Rs 20 for cars (four-wheelers) and Rs 5 for motorcycles (two-wheelers).
These prices might seem low but they were much higher than those of the past.
Unfortunately, the system did not include the practice of regular price reviews to adjust these prices as demand conditions change.
Collection efficiency was improved, as least initially. The initial tender called for parking attendants to use digital handheld devices to issue tickets, which should have improved oversight and reduced leakage. However, I am not sure if this was actually done.
There also seems to have been increased attention to enforcement in the area by the Traffic Police, at least in the early period of this reform.
As a result, the city's parking revenue increased twelve-fold, according to ITDP India.
The green and yellow zones are mostly off-street parking areas. The orange and red zones are mostly on-street parking.
The approach to monthly passes for shopkeepers and employees was interesting. The pricing was aimed at encouraging such all-day parking in the green (low-demand and mostly off-street) parking zone rather than in the higher-demand orange zones (Times of India, Jan 2017).
Unfortunately, the early successes with MG Road parking fees have not yet been built upon. The parking management in MG Road is still apparently better than before 2017 but problems have included: a cancelled first contract; a contract approach in which the city focuses more on revenue than parking management and sees parking fee collection as essentially ‘giving the land for rent’; a paper-tickets and cash payments approach; and a populist decision to drastically reduce the parking prices.
As of mid 2018, the city was managing the parking using its own staff who were issuing paper tickets for users. However, the city is reportedly keen to re-tender the parking management system and to add a few more key streets to the system.
Results or impacts
Collection efficiency was also improved, as least initially. And there was increased attention to enforcement in the area by the Traffic Police. As a result, the city's parking revenue increased twelve-fold, according to ITDP India. This may have eroded somewhat since then.
There have been anecdotal mentions of improved on-street parking conditions but I have not seen quantitative information on this. And this benefit is likely to have eroded somewhat since the initial reform as a result of problems mentioned in the detailed description.
Sources and acknowledgements
Reinventing Parking (August 14, 2018) “Taming India's on-street parking: Shreya Gadepalli”
Ranchi Municipal Corporation (December 2016) Tender Notice [This is the source of the image at the top]
Ranchi Municipal Corporation (2016) Control of Parking and Collection of Parking Fees, Regulations 2016
ITDP India (no date, accessed April 2021) Busting Parking Myths,
18 May 2021