Hamilton Conservation Authorities - A Timed Reservation Solution - Success Story
Who is HCA?
Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) is an environmental management agency, which is dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of watershed lands and water resources located near the western end of Lake Ontario, between Toronto Ontario and Niagara Falls. The role they play is critical to the enjoyment and survival of irreplaceable natural resources.
Hamilton Conservation Authority manages Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. Within the conservation land is Webster Falls, Tew Falls, and Dundas Peak a highly traveled day destination by locals and tourists. The popularity of this iconic area and its high visitation led to local residents, the municipality and the conservation authority identifying concerns with traffic congestion and safety. Although shuttle buses had been in operation during peak season weekends, and holidays, it was not enough to address seven day a week concerns and required visitors to park offsite and walk in with dogs.
In 2020, Covid 19 introduced additional complications; the increased desire for people to escape the confinement of their homes and find restoration and community within the naturalized, protected space of Spencer Gorge. The public wanted greater access; all the while the government was imposing restrictions which required social distancing and regulating of traffic in public spaces.
Hamilton Conservation Authorities required a solution which would manage the number of vehicles and pedestrians within any given period of time, and they had a short window of time to make this happen.
A solution to calm traffic congestion:
The Camis account manager was advised by Hamilton Conservation Authorities of these challenges in late July 2020. He then facilitated discussions between Camis and HCA's team to fully understand the situation and needs. The HCA had already been using Camis to power their online and at-gate reservations and day passes in other locations, so the solution resided in expanding the features of the existing system, which saved time and money. Camis ensured goals were understood and delivered on target and budget. The inhouse development and configuration teams at Camis were brought onboard to build, install, and launch the solution; with all data management and security also inhouse at Camis.
A Solution Supporting Efficiency
- Pre-registration became a requirement for guests which regulated traffic to 280 vehicles per day.
- Online reservation requirements ensured staggered arrivals to control traffic in the area and entry to the park. Each registration had an arrival and departure time.
- Online payment facilitated great convenience, payment management and reporting.
- Restricting and monitored access volume was configurable; setting restrictions could be changed as needed.
- This method also reduced line ups and access time upon arrival.
- The efficiency of the system also meant reduced staffing needs so employees could be deployed in other areas of need to ensure safe enjoyment of the space by all.
- Pedestrian shuttles from parking to the park were no longer needed, an additional savings for HCA.
- The Camis system remains fully configurable as needs change and supported and secured through an inhouse software solutions teams.
- Future barcode scan capability is currently under development to provide access through automated gate systems.
It took 8 weeks, from start to finish to launch a solution for Hamilton Conservation Authorities. The expansion on the existing Camis system, along with the Hamilton Conservations Authorities team made it possible to reduce vehicle and pedestrian traffic by nearly 80% and regulate access to ensure social distancing could be respected during a time that getting outdoors has never been more nurturing.