Entrance of the parking garageBy Amy Zaid

With all the new and upcoming technology in the parking industry you might think something simple wouldn’t be hard to find!

In July 2016, we automated an event-driven garage in Houston, Texas. We primarily intended to increase revenue, reduce costs, and enhance the tenant and visitor parking experiences. The facility went from cashiered to fully automated, accepting payment only by credit card. Because we were no longer accepting cash for daily visitors, we began researching the ability to accept credit cards only for special event parking. After attending the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo, we realized this wouldn’t be so simple.

Many different vendors have event solutions but our struggle was locating a module that accepts credit cards and vends the gate arms after a transaction. After speaking with multiple vendors, we realized the majority of operations raise their gates upon entrance for events and the vend function is not needed.

Our company has very rigid auditing standards and we must be able to verify the number of vends with tickets sold. We are in the processes of working with some companies to develop an event module that would not jeopardize our auditing process while being able to provide a great parking experience to our customer. This process has proven to us the value of attending IPI’s Conference—the ability to speak to various parking professionals within a two-day span and choose a company that can provide the best solution to our struggle.

Amy Zaid is an area manager with Winpark.