Curbs are a hot commodity, especially in downtown areas like Center City in Philadelphia.
The curb sees demand for truck deliveries, rideshares, food deliveries, parking, curbside dining, bus or bike lanes – creating challenges for both drivers and pedestrians. This demand can lead to congestion and safety concerns, especially with large trucks, which need space for loading and unloading goods.
The City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and Pebble are launching a pilot project called “Smart Loading Zones” to test the digital management of curb space. This project will offer 20 loading zones at Center City curbs that truck drivers can reserve using their smartphones, and fleet operators can manage payments for multiple vehicles through a user-friendly platform.
The goal of the program is to improve access, and improve the loading experience for truck drivers. The City of Philadelphia will repurpose existing loading zones in Center City for this pilot. For more information about the pilot project, check out the Philadelphia Smart Loading Zone website.
What are Smart Loading Zones?
Smart Loading Zones are truck loading zones that are bookable through the Pebble Driver App . Via the app, drivers will be able to see Smart Loading Zones on a map, reserve a Smart Zone if they’re within 15 minutes of arrival, navigate to the zone via turn-by-turn directions, and pay via a preferred payment method. Pebble will test a vehicle sensor in a few select zones that detects whether a vehicle is present, allowing the app to understand whether the zone is available. For more information about Smart Loading Zones in Philadelphia, see our dedicated website.
The City will be able to use Pebble’s Smart Zone Dashboard, accessible to city managers through a website, to view analytics on Smart Zone usage. The City will use these insights to improve policy planning and operations specific to right-of-way management for its curb management program.
Pebble will work with the Smart Cities team within the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Parking Authority to get the project off the ground. In addition, the City and Pebble will work with the business improvement district and neighborhood community groups to ensure all stakeholders can engage with this infrastructure and provide feedback on how to better align the technology with their daily needs.
In partnership with the City, Pebble will reach out to truck drivers, fleet dispatchers/managers, and individual businesses in Philadelphia to educate them on the pilot and to solicit feedback specific to the end users. If you're a fleet or driver looking to sign up, learn more on the Philadelphia Smart Loading Zone page.
The pilot will begin October 17th, 2022 and run for approximately 6 months.