Tag Archives: TPP-2013-09-

A Prolific Partnership

TPP-2013-09-A Prolific PartnershipBy Gina Fiandaca

Public private partnerships (P3) between major local governments and private companies are critical to the successful development and execution of sophisticated, high-volume programs such as the processing and collection of parking tickets. These partnerships allow governments to allocate resources to establishing policies, building core competencies, providing oversight, managing interactions, and building public trust, while private sector partners provide core systems, innovative technologies, and capital investment.

Partnerships allow cities to focus resources on core municipal services while private sector partners fund the development of new technologies in non-core areas, such as on-street parking management. As cities face increasing challenges to deliver greater customer service and convenience with limited funds, the use of P3 is becoming increasingly relevant.

In Boston, the Office of the Parking Clerk (OPC), a division of the Boston Transportation Department, is responsible for the collection of $66 million in fines and fees from parking tickets, as well as the development and maintenance of the city’s resident permit parking program. Obviously, Boston is not solely in the business of providing parking management products and services, and like most city government agencies, has limited resources to perform these tasks. As a result, the city has procured a contract with a business partner to facilitate this type of infrastructure.

The scope of work in this type of program involves many considerations. The first necessity is a baseline application that can handle the city’s daily processing volumes and scale to changes in business flow. Choosing a vendor with a proven, demonstrated track record of success and honorable performance is of paramount importance.
Our program consists of the following applications:

  • Parking application
  • Online resident permit procurement
  • Sign management
  • Abandoned vehicle system
  • Hearing adjudication (paperless)
  • Web portal for constituents
  • License plate recognition
  • Online resident permit rental program
  • State-of-the-art network design
  • Call center
  • Handhelds
  • Boot and tow
  • Temporary signage
  • Valet parking program
  • Ad-hoc reporting
  • Pay-by-phone
  • Online constituent dispute form
  • Fleet vehicle system
  • Pay-by-web

The Boston Transportation Department manages its partnership agreements through strict adherence to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Chapter 30B procurement regulations; we have some of the strictest such laws in the country. These regulations ensure complete transparency and accountability between the city and its private sector partners. Boston has developed a world-class parking management program as a result of collaborative efforts with premier service providers, and the Office of the Parking Clerk is responsible for ensuring that its strategic partners deliver—and the city receives—the best value possible.

Program integrity is critical to the successful operation of a parking management program. Boston has one of the highest collection rates in the country (93 percent) because the public has faith in the city’s records. Violators know that sanctions will be promptly and accurately deployed against individuals who fail to pay. But effective parking management is not punitive; rather, it is about convenience for motorists, reducing traffic congestion and managing parking demand, and improving the quality of life for residents, commuters, and visitors.

RMV Relationship
Access to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is one of the most strategic partnerships a government agency can have. Ours has existed since 1981 and is the prime way the agency collects monies that are owed to the department. Because of this, we have one of the highest name and address acquisition (hit rates) in the country, at 96.54 percent statewide.

What is more important than the hit rate? The collection rate: Boston’s is 93 percent during 24 months (exclusive of our collections program). Close oversight and ongoing monitoring of hit rates by city personnel is essential—even a 1 percent negative deviation in hit rates would produce not only significant revenue loss, but also significant loss of public confidence due to potential improper noticing. Over a three-year contract period, it’s estimated that a 1 percent hit rate loss would result in a revenue reduction of at least $1.2 million.

Loss in revenue
1% Delta     Loss in Revenue
Massachusetts           15,240            $609,600
New Hampshire           7,500            $315,000
Vermont                              690            $  28,290
Maine                                2,400            $103,200
Rhode Island                  4,500           $189,000

Boston Becomes a Model
OPC established one of the first partnerships to support the delivery of on-street parking services in 1982. This positioned the city to be among the first in the U.S. to offer real-time, online parking ticket payments via the internet, implement handheld ticket-writing devices, and use a truly paperless document imaging scanning solution. Additionally, during the Y2K era, all applications were successfully and transparently transitioned to a more reliable and robust platform. These innovations have measurably improved the accuracy of citations, which directly translates into improved name and address hit rates, making it easier for citizens and visitors to pay parking citations, facilitating a true paperless environment, and improving overall service delivery to the public. Today, Bostonians can also request hearings, view citation data, and apply for permits online. Boston was an early adopter of multi-space kiosk-style parking meters and implemented the Boston Meter Card for more than 7,000 single-space meters while piloting single-space meters that accept credit cards. All of these innovative technologies have made Boston OPC one of the most respected departments in city government.

Paperless Environment
Boston was an early adopter of the paperless approach to all correspondence and documents relative to citation dispute resolution and adjudication. This clear vision has paid immense dividends relative to our operational efficiency. As a result, correspondence, hearings, disputes, residential permit applications, rental permit applications, and much more is presented in a paperless environment via our online system. Better yet, there are no storage costs. As a result of this streamlined approach, original documents can be efficiently and accurately retained only as necessary.

OPC retains all online data and images in our specialized archive system. It is important to note that costs for online data storage can be significant. Therefore, effective and diligent data retention and storage and archive systems are critical to an organization’s success.

Public Trust and Transparency
Boston procurements are governed by the procurement regulations of` Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30B, and the city takes these regulations quite seriously. These guidelines ensure a fair and objective procurement process in Massachusetts via the request for proposals (RFP) and invitation for bids processes. It breaks down further to a granular level for the RFP process via comparative evaluation criteria.

All prospective vendors are measured against clearly stated objective evaluation criteria as, for example, highly advantageous to unacceptable, with varying measures in between. It is incumbent upon the city to define system specifications and services such that proposals submitted by prospective vendors can be independently evaluated based on stated RFP requirements. As a result, the city is optimally positioned to preserve the public’s trust throughout the procurement process.

The public expects municipal administrators to consistently make fair and impartial decisions on their behalf. After all, their tax dollars are paying for these systems and services. The municipal manager’s responsibility does not end when the contract is signed. Contract monitoring and control are paramount and must be ongoing and dynamic. Expectations must be clearly stated in RFP and contract documents; service levels must be stated, measured, and monitored.

MGL Chapter 30B can be downloaded at mass.gov/ig/publications/manuals/30bmanl.pdf.


Subcontractor relationships must be clearly articulated in RFP and contract documents. While subcontractor arrangement responsibility is delegated to the prime vendor, municipalities must ensure that transparency and impartiality trickle down to this level. Boston retains close oversight of subcontractor arrangements with the prime vendor. We consider these important components of the procurement process and factor subcontractor attributes into our evaluation process. We also believe that municipal dollars should be spent locally and factor the physical location of not only the prime vendor, but also subcontractor systems, services, and facilities into our overall proposal evaluation process.

Keys to Success
Vendor partnerships require clearly-stated expectations and responsibilities. It is incumbent upon municipalities to define system specifications, expectations, and scope of service levels. As a result of such diligence, vendors will be well positioned to successfully meet such expectations. Vendor relationships are both dynamic and multi-directional; the process is fluid and flows both ways. A successful partnership requires openness, transparency, and a willingness to meet the demands of public sector service requirements while preserving the integrity of the public’s trust via the procurement process.

It is critical to cultivate a culture of trust with service providers. Strategic and well-managed partnerships will position your organization for continued success and allow you to successfully achieve your goals and objectives, now and in the future.

Gina FiANdaca is director, office of the parking clerks, in the Boston Transportation Department. She can be reached at gina.fiandaca@cityofboston.gov or 617.635.3669.

TPP-2013-09-A Prolific Partnership

Upping the Ante on Parking Planning and Design

TPP-2013-09-Upping the Ante on Parking Planning and DesignBy Chris Gray, PE, and Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C

Atlantic City is well known for its exciting atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and boardwalk that’s alive with casinos, shops, and restaurants. People from all over the world visit the city to gamble, play on the beach, and experience an affordable and family-friendly alternative to Las Vegas. There’s no doubt that Atlantic City is a great destination for a quick weekend getaway or a long summer vacation.

Atlantic City has sought to capitalize on its notoriety as a tourist destination, and as part of that, embarked on a major downtown redevelopment effort. In February 2012, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) released the Tourism District Master Plan, which outlines a plan for short- and long-term projects and policy initiatives meant to enhance the visitor experience, promote private investment, and improve the economic stability of the city. Development of the plan included significant input from all stakeholders, including Atlantic City residents, business owners, property owners, government officials, investors, casino representatives, and even visitors.

The Tourism District Master Plan provides a framework for future improvement and growth in the city, capitalizing on its existing prominence as a major tourism destination and expanding outward from current limits. The plan includes strategies such as improvements to the casino and boardwalk areas, significant improvements to the streets and sidewalks, and implementing improvements in cleanliness and safety to enhance visitor and resident experiences. The city and the CRDA understand that investment and development in the Atlantic City core are critically important to future economic success.

A notable example of the city’s commitment to redevelopment is the prominence of “The Walk,” a 109-store, open-air mall that opened in 2003. The Walk, which spans three city blocks, is the only outlet mall in Atlantic County and South Jersey. It wraps around the Atlantic City Bus Terminal, allowing people to easily come and go without driving. The world-class retail development has significantly increased pedestrian activity in the area, drawing millions of people each year. Although it opened years before the master plan was developed, The Walk will play a significant role in supporting the future growth and development of the area. It’s also part of the plan, which encourages the expansion of the shopping center to help connect Pacific Avenue—one of the most highly trafficked streets in the area—to the boardwalk in and around the midtown core.

What About Parking
As is the case with many major redevelopment plans, the need to right-size parking is an issue that’s proven to be a struggle for many government entities. Unlike other cities, Atlantic City experienced no shortage of parking for patrons of its casinos, most of which had their own parking facilities. However, the CRDA recognized that to support ambitious plans for growth within the community, they would need to increase parking capacity to accommodate additional demand.

The result of that is The Wave Parking Garage & Mixed Use Center: a state-of-the-art mixed-use parking facility featuring impressive elements that make it a unique destination while providing for both current and future parking demands generated by the city’s master plan efforts.

Unique Challenges

The CRDA recognized that the prominent location of this garage project site ensures that The Wave will be the very first thing people see when coming off the Atlantic City Expressway into the city. Therefore, the facility’s design was paramount to ensuring that visitors were given a memorable first impression.

The Wave, which cost $30 million to build and offers six levels of parking in its five stories, is centrally located to support growing parking demands in the surrounding area. Its 1,180 parking spaces accommodate the parking demand generated by the adjacent outlet mall, a Sheraton hotel, the Convention Center, the Boardwalk Hall entertainment center, and many more current and future destinations.

The addition of the mixed-use facility has helped create a more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere in the city core. The Wave includes approximately 16,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, enhancing activity along the streetscape and providing additional connectivity between the facility and the other nearby destinations. The project also incorporated improvements to the streets to provide a more walkable environment.

Sustainability at its Finest
The CRDA elected to use an already-disturbed property as the site for The Wave, rather than taking away any of the city’s green space. Originally, the site included a parking lot, community center, and fish market. The location was very important not only for the success of the project, but as it related to sustainability as well, marrying transit-accessibility with urban infill and a location near other mixed-use destinations. The Wave builds on these foundations to increase density and provide efficient parking resources.

The CRDA’s forward-thinking approach to sustainability is evident throughout the design of The Wave. The 54,000 square-foot roof of the garage features a large 400kW solar panel array with 1,677 solar panels. The energy generated by the solar array helps significantly offset the energy use inside the garage.

The facility also features six electric vehicle charging stations, and there are provisions for the installation of 14 additional stations in the future. The inclusion of these stations brings the concept of sustainability to the forefront and is intended to promote and support the use of electric vehicles.

While providing significant parking demand for visitors, employees, and residents of Atlantic City, the location of The Wave actually helps encourage walkability. The significant amount of retail space within the garage and the facility’s central location near many important Atlantic City destinations promote a more pedestrian-friendly and walkable atmosphere. This helps reduce the number of automobile trips in the area, resulting in less traffic congestion and fewer carbon emissions.

A Gateway to Atlantic City
CRDA understood that, given the site location, The Wave would provide visitors with their first impression of Atlantic City as they drove into town. Therefore, the garage needed to incorporate design elements that would match the look and feel of the surrounding neighborhood while enhancing the visual experience both during the day and at night.

The design team incorporated a number of architectural enhancements to achieve this goal. The garage features a curved metal screen running along the top of the façade. This screen reflects a vibrant array of colors and enhances the visual appeal of the garage. In addition, an LED billboard highlights local events. Each of these elements creates a more exciting and memorable appearance and complements the nearby casinos and retail center.

The significant retail space at the ground level of the garage helps generate additional activity while creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment for those walking around the garage. Current plans for retail include an art/retail space to serve as an anchor location for the Atlantic City Arts District. In addition, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey plans to lease space in the garage for its Noyes Museum of Art, including studio and retail space. Each of these destinations will enhance the atmosphere around the ground floor of the garage and generate additional activity within and around the facility.

The Wave is a great example of using parking to promote and enhance large-scale community redevelopment efforts. No one involved has any doubt that it will be an essential piece of infrastructure that greatly supports the impressive Tourism District Master Plan effort both now and into the future.

Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C, is marketing manager with Timothy Haahs and Associates. She can be reached at mleinart@timhaahs.com or 484.342.0200.

Chris Gray, PE, is project manager with Timothy Haahs and Associates. He can be reached at cgray@timhaahs.com or 484.342.0200.

TPP-2013-09-Upping the Ante on Parking Planning and Design

Unlocking the Grid

TPP-2013-09-Unlocking the GridBy Bill Smith

The eyes of the world will be on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the next few years, as the city gears up to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. These events bring prestige, lots of attention, and billions of dollars (or Brazilian reals) in spending. However, events such as these also bring extraordinary challenges. After all, it’s no small thing to introduce millions of visitors into an already-crowded city.

Rio has a permanent population of more than 6 million residents. During the 32-day World Cup, that population will swell by another 3 million visitors, and for the Olympics two years later, it will nearly double.

How do you introduce all of those people into a relatively small area, provide places to park their vehicles, and keep them moving to and from events? The task would be an enormous challenge for any city, but Rio is seaside, which means its eastern border is definitively defined by the Atlantic Ocean. There simply is nowhere to expand.

Preparing for the Games

No one knows more about Olympic-sized challenges like these than Tony Vitrano, senior vice president of SP Plus Gameday. SP Plus Gameday handled parking and transportation for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and the London Summer Olympics in 2012. According to Vitrano, as challenging as parking was at the Vancouver and London games, Rio—and the other 19 sites hosting World Cup matches—will provide an even greater challenge.

“Rio’s challenges are huge. Much larger than in Vancouver and London,” says Vitrano. “In fact, if you were able to take Vancouver and London’s challenges with traffic and congestion and combine them, the combination would be just about as large as Rio.”

The good news, he says, is that the Brazilian government has initiated massive infrastructure improvements to ensure that fans, athletes, officials, and members of the media can make their way throughout the city during both the World Cup and the Olympics. It is estimated that Brazil will invest $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements for the two events. Much of that money will be spent creating and improving heavy and light rail resources and bus lines.

“These events are going to require extensive transport systems,” says Vitrano. “Fortunately, the Brazilian government is off to an excellent start in ensuring that those systems will be ready to go.”

The key will be to get people out of private vehicles and rental cars and onto public transportation. Rio is famous for its traffic; even the 2011 20th Century Fox animated movie by the same name showed that gridlock is a daily fact of life for residents and visitors. The city’s leaders and their partners at the World Cup and International Olympic Committee (IOC) plan to overcome this through the development of a transportation system that will rely largely on bus rapid transit, with support from additional light rail and heavy rail.

Moving People
For next year’s World Cup, June 12–July 13, the focus will be on getting fans, athletes, organizers, and media to and from Estadio do Maracana, Rio’s world-renowned stadium, and other venues. Brazil’s largest football (soccer) stadium currently holds more than 75,000 spectators, and will be expanded to handle another 10,000 before the tournament. Maracana frequently hosts international and local sporting events and concerts, so getting people to and from the stadium is old hat for local officials. Still, the World Cup isn’t exactly business as usual, and the transportation infrastructure that’s being implemented is vital to the tournament’s success.

The 2016 Summer Olympics will present even more daunting challenges. Not only will the Olympics attract twice as many visitors as the World Cup, but there will be four venues in greater Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the primary venues in the Barra da Tijuca section of the city, events will also be held on Copacabana Beach, as well as the Maracana and Deodoro areas. The vast physical infrastructure that’s being created now will be vital, but personnel, technology, and management systems will play just as important a role.

“This is a massive undertaking,” says Vitrano. “It’s not just about building bus rapid transit lanes and rail lines. Organizers and their transportation consultants are going to have to acquire 1,000 or more buses, hire at least that many drivers, and procure huge amounts of land for bus yards.”

Vitrano says that while transport companies will bring in experienced managers to operate their systems, most of their personnel needs will have to be met through local hires, particularly when it comes to bus drivers. Finding so many qualified and experienced drivers is obviously a huge undertaking, but organizers feel the systems were perfected during the Vancouver and London Olympics, and they are confident that when the World Cup starts next year—and the Olympics two years later—they will have all the experienced and skilled people they need in place to transport millions of people to and from the various matches and events.

That said, physical infrastructure and personnel are only part of the story. This won’t be your typical mass transit system, where people buy tokens and wait for trains. Both the World Cup and Summer Olympics will rely on state-of-the-art technology that will allow people to reserve their entire transportation packages in advance. Before they even set foot in their vehicles, they will purchase tickets for their bus or rail trips and reserve space in specific parking venues adjacent to the public transit they are using.

The advantages of this system are obvious. By reserving and paying for facilities and transportation in advance, visitors will significantly reduce the amount of time they spend waiting in line to enter parking facilities or purchase train and bus tickets. The entire process will be streamlined to an extraordinary degree. Organizers will also benefit from being able to monitor in real time who is using the transit system and how it’s all working. If necessary, they can move transportation resources to areas of heaviest use and make other administrative adjustments to keep the system operating seamlessly.

“This technology was used successfully in Vancouver and London and it will provide enormous benefits in Rio,” says Vitrano. “Electronic reservation and management will eliminate many headaches for both attendees and World Cup and Olympic administrators.”

High-Tech Security
Of course, in the post-9/11 world, security is of paramount importance to organizers of any event, particularly events as large and well-attended as the World Cup or Olympics. Fortunately, the same technology and strategies that will help manage parking and transit can also promote security. In fact, the transit system will be an integral element of the security systems of both events.

One of the keys to providing a secure environment is making sure people are only provided access to appropriate areas within individual venues. Spectators are likely to have the most limited access and will be primarily permitted into viewing areas. Media, on the other hand, will have somewhat wider access and will be allowed into both viewing and media areas. Athletes will have even wider access and will be permitted in competition areas, housing locations, and backstage areas in which they will be able to prepare for their events. Finally, there will be numerous staff members—thousands of them—all with different responsibilities. For these staff, access will be determined by their roles and where in the various venues they need to be at any given time.

Access will be managed through the creation of a variety of geographic rings. Outer rings will provide general access, while entrance to inner rings will be increasingly limited as the bulls-eye narrows. Checkpoints will be established at the entrance of each ring and access for individuals and vehicles will be filtered through these checkpoints.

“At the Vancouver and London games, the transit system also served as an essential component of the security program,” says Vitrano. “The vast majority of athletes and employees relied on shuttle buses to get to and from events. The advantage of this approach is that it is relatively easy to monitor access to shuttle buses and trams when you are providing the actual transportation to athletes and IOC staff. It’s essentially a one-stop system that makes security much more manageable.”

Not everyone will travel by transit, however. There will be many IOC and World Cup staff, not to mention other VIPs, who will need to travel to competition venues and other key points in their own vehicles. They will be directed to vehicle screening areas (VSAs) where security staff will check the credentials of drivers and passengers to ensure that they are authorized to travel to various areas on their own. Vehicles themselves will also undergo comprehensive security screening in VSAs.

For both private and transit vehicle screening, much of the security will be handled manually by trained staff. These manual screenings, combined with secure transit networks should provide a safe and secure environment at both events for athletes, organizers, media, and staff.

“While the final systems have not been put in place for the World Cup or the Olympics, it’s likely that Rio will take a similar approach to recent Olympic games,” says Vitrano. “The systems that were put in place in Vancouver and London were extremely effective and it would make sense to rely on tried and true technologies and practices.”

Bill Smith is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of The Parking Professional. He can be reached at bsmith@smith-phillips.com or 603.491.4280.

TPP-2013-09-Unlocking the Grid

A Chip on the Old Card

TPP-2013-09-A Chip on the Old CardBy Tom Wunk, CAPP

Now what? This seems to be the prevailing response when I bring up the subject of open-standard Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) credit card processing with parking operations folks. Like many industries, parking is slowly emerging from economic malaise and finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. In addition, operations are battle-weary and scarred from last year’s payment card industry (PCI) standards saga (see the June 2012 issue of The Parking Professional). Between money and time invested and ongoing compliance action items, management and support professionals have had their fill of credit card processing requirements.

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, along comes EMV.

What is EMV?
Simply stated, EMV is a global open standard for smart card (chip card) payment credentials, acceptance devices (terminals), and the associated transactional processing. In 1994 and 1995, a consortium was formed in Europe to examine the issue of credit card fraud and how technology could help address it in a large-scale manner. This consortium, formed between Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, developed a global standard for the interoperability of credit and debit cards, along with terminals based on chip-card technology. The first formal EMV specification was issued in 1996. Today, EMVCo—jointly owned by American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and JCB (formerly Japan Credit Bureau)—manages EMV specifications, enhancements and associated developments, and most importantly, the associated testing and evaluation protocols.

It is important to note that the while the intent of addressing fraud was primarily focused on credit card payment transaction processes, the entire payments ecosystem, including debit card and ATM transactions, was examined.

How Does it Work?
The initial idea behind EMV was to install some type of intelligent component in a card that could not be copied or transferred and used for unauthorized activity. The advent of paper-thin microchips made card-embedded microprocessors and associated applications possible. This could provide very strong transactional security through dynamic encryption. Traditional magnetic stripes contain static data, which can be stolen or copied and re-used for other transactions. With dynamic authentication, the data exchanged between card and reader changes with every transaction, so even if a transaction was hijacked, it could not be replicated for additional transactions.

An EMV-enabled credit card will include a gold square on the front of the card. This is known as the card’s contact. Behind this contact is the card’s microprocessor, as illustrated below.

When the card is inserted into a terminal, the gold contact allows a connection between the card and the terminal’s reader. This connection to be established enables two processes to occur: the connection provides power to the chip, and once power is applied, data is exchanged between the card and the reader. This type of transaction is a contact transaction. It is important to note that contact readers can be fully manual and require the cardholder to dip and retract his card at the machine, or the reader can be motorized, ingesting and then expelling the card.

Another transaction type, known as a contactless transaction, occurs when a contactless chip-based credit card is held within a couple of inches of the reader. Here, data is exchanged via radio frequency.

Is That All?
Not quite. EMV specifications are very thorough in describing the requirements for proper EMV transactional processes. This overall transaction process addressed by EMV is broken into three primary components:

Card authorization is the securing and associated protection of the card itself to protect against copying card information and re-creating that information for fraudulent activity. This is primarily handled by the card manufacturers.

Transaction authorization describes the parameters set to ensure the sanctity of the transaction authorization sent to and returned from the issuer in an online transaction. If offline transaction capability is needed, the actual point of sale (POS) terminal can be configured to accept the transaction based on the card authentication and the associated transaction cryptogram.

Cardholder verification is used to confirm the actual card ownership component—is this person the rightful owner of the card?—which combats the issue of lost or stolen credit cards. This process is referred to as CVM; EMV supports four types of CVMs:

● The first method requires the cardholder input a specific PIN (personal identification number). The PIN is verified online by the associated card issuer and the transaction can proceed.

● The second type of CVM method combines a chip-based credit card with a terminal that’s capable of offline transactions. When the cardholder presents a card, he or she is then instructed to input a PIN. Once this is done, the terminal itself will interrogate the card chip to verify if the PIN is correct. It they match, the transaction proceeds.

● The third type of CVM method is signature verification and signature collection. The terminal itself has signature capture area for the cardholder to enter his or her signature. This uses a manual process of verification as a supplement to card authorization.

● The fourth type of CVM is no CVM; the card is used as the sole method of transactional identification. This his primarily been identified as the methodology for transactions at unattended POS locations, low-dollar transaction locations, or those transactions with high volume throughput situations.

CVM is of utmost importance to the transportation industry. The determination of CVM will significantly affect the scope of implementing EMV. For example, if your business model incorporates both pay-on-foot machines and exit verifiers that accept credit card payments and you and your bank and processor have determined that CVM will include PIN entry, new terminals will have to be incorporated into those devices. This will be a significant and expensive proposition.

What’s the Timeline?
The U.S. is one of the last countries to adopt EMV into its credit card processing infrastructure. But as with PCI, the major card brands are pushing the matter. Visa took the lead by announcing a number of EMV deployment milestones in August 2011. MasterCard followed in January 2012, Discover in March 2012, and American Express in June 2012. The primary milestone categories are as follows:

  • PCI audit relief. This is the advertised date by which, if more than 75 percent of transactions originate from EMV-compliant POS terminals, the merchant may apply for relief on the audit requirement for PCI compliance. However, the merchant must maintain all other PCI compliance components.
  • PCI account data compromise relief. Driven by MasterCard, merchants are relieved of all or a portion of associated penalties for account data compromise (hacking) if the indicated percentage level of transactions originate from EMV-compliant terminals. If at least 75 percent of transactions originate from EMV-compliant terminals, the merchant is relieved of 50 percent of account data compromise penalties. If at least 95 percent of transactions originate from EMV-compliant terminals, the merchant is relieved of 100 percent of account data compromise penalties.
  • Acquirer/sub-processor compliance. This is the advertised date by which acquirers and sub-processors must be able to process full chip data from card transactions for authorizations and for some payment brands, transaction clearing, and settlement.
  • Counterfeit liability shift. This is the advertised date by which an associated infrastructure party in the credit card process chain that has invested in EMV deployment is protected from financial liability for card-present counterfeit fraud losses. If none of the process chain parties is EMV compliant, fraud liability will remain as it is today.
  • ATM counterfeit liability shift. This is the advertised date that the MasterCard liability hierarchy takes effect for ATM transactions.
  • Lost or stolen liability shift. This is the advertised date that the MasterCard liability hierarchy takes effect for lost/stolen cards. The party that has the made the investment in the most secure EMV deployment option is protected for financial liability for card-present fraud losses for lost, stolen, or non-receipt fraud.

Is This Really Happening?
I believe so. While the timing and the actual deployment steps may change, it is hard to dispute the overall results of EMV deployment. There is a distinct association between the implementation and adoption of EMV and the associated reduction in credit card fraud as the following shows:
Consider the actual cases of credit card fraud and relate that to the areas of the world that have adopted EMV:

What About NFC?
When discussions ensue with regard to the evolution of payments, you will hear of EMV and near-field communications (NFC), which are sometimes thought to be synonymous. The truth is, they are distinct in nature but can complement each other. We’ve discussed EMV as a technological advance in the credit card transactional process. NFC is a set of standards for mobile devices that enables them to establish wireless communication by touching two elements together or being in close proximity. In general, there are three modes of NFC operation:

  • Reader to device mode. In this mode, the reader will activate a passive device and then the device will transmit data back to the reader. The device can be in the form of a card, key fob, or other device that does not require batteries.
  • Peer to peer mode. This mode allows two NFC devices to communicate with each other when they are touched or are in close proximity.
  • Card emulation mode. This by the far the most anticipated deployment of NFC technology. This mode allows an NFC-enabled device to emulate a contactless smartcard, which could be in the form of a credit card, alternative payment credential, access control card, special program card, transit card, or any combination thereof. Both Google Wallet and ISIS wallet avail themselves of this technology.

What Should I Do?
Credit card processing is an integral part of the parking and transportation industry. Usage can run from a low of 30 percent to a high of 95 percent of all payment transactions. Facilities and operations are embracing full-on cashless payment practices. The world is embracing enhanced fraud protection via EMV. Society in general is shifting the payments infrastructure with the rampage of smartphone usage. Consider the following:

  • 56 percent of American adults are now smartphone owners. (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013)
  • Within five years, half of today’s smartphone users will be using mobile wallets as their preferred payment method. (Source: Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, 2012)
  • Need proof we’re addicted? Seventy-five percent of Americans take their phones to the bathroom. (Source: Digiday, 2013)

It is imperative that transportation ecosystems managers remain patiently vigilant with regard to EMV. The deadlines indicated above are real and at this point in time, remain as indicated. Keep appraised of updates relating to EMV. Meet with your operations staff, finance experts, and technical solutions providers. Confirm they are also vigilant and that they are exploring deployable options. Gather potential costs and consider those costs in budget discussions. Contact your bank and processor to determine their position with regard to EMV and how they plan to address the indicated milestones. Become and remain informed. It will enable you to make informed decisions and not be caught off guard. Ultimately it will be to your credit.

Tom Wunk, CAPP, is vice president of PARCS with T2 Systems, Inc. He can be reached at twunk@T2systems.com or 317.524.7425.

TPP-2013-09-A Chip on the Old Card

Cracking Down

TPP-2013-09-Cracking DownBy Kim Fernandez

Monitor news about parking and you’ll get an alert just about every day that has to do with the abuse of spaces reserved for those using disabled driver permits. It’s no wonder: experts say that the dawn of affordable professional-quality home printing and scanning mean it’s easier than ever to forge or alter permits. And an economy that continues to struggle makes free on-street parking for disabled drivers a hotter commodity than ever, which means more people are willing to risk penalties on the off-chance they’re caught using an invalid permit.

As abuse increases, so too do efforts to combat it. Consider:

  • The state of Washington established a work group in July to develop proposals for ways to decrease disabled parking abuse.
  • New Jersey, as of August 1, requires individuals to verify their disabled status every three years to keep their parking placards.
  • Indiana doubled its fines for those who illegally park in spots saved for the handicapped in early July, putting its minimum fine at $100.
  • Florida begin requiring physician-signed certification of disabilities for placard renewal in July 2012.

The list goes on, as do studies, focus groups, and newspaper op-ed pieces arguing for and against stricter disabled parking regulations. Parking industry members and governments aren’t the only ones looking at the issue either; academia is taking a keen interest in disabled parking abuse as well.

The Cornell Study

Michael Manville, assistant professor in the department of city and regional planning, Cornell University, says disabled parking abuse first piqued his interest during a visit to California, when he and a research partner were working on a project about performance- and market-based parking pricing.

“We’d both anecdotally seen placards used heavily in both San Francisco and Los Angeles,” he says; those were the cities he studied in his parking pricing research. “We knew widespread abuse of those placards could screw up both programs. This was a large segment of the population that didn’t have to pay at all.”

He and his research partner decided to do a stakeout: they parked on a popular Los Angeles block for a day and watched. (He’s currently working on a similar project in San Francisco, but results aren’t yet in.)

“We kept track of how long each vehicle stayed and whether people with disabled placards parked for longer periods of time,” he says. The answer was a definite yes.
“We can certainly say, at least in L.A., that lots of people are using disabled placards to park. Nothing in our research design lets us determine whether they’re using them fraudulently. That said, based on everything you read from different reports, talking to advocates, and the way our own surveyors described what they saw, it seems like there’s a lot of fraud.”

What he found was that people did park longer when they used handicapped permits that freed them from paying meters.

“Technically in the eyes of the law, this is not fraud,” he says. “And so the question becomes, for a lot of people, why does that guy get free parking? He has a disability and he should have access to disabled spaces, but he’s not poor. And the real question is even broader: Why do we think this is an appropriate way to help people with disabilities? Especially because not all people with disabilities drive.”

The study, he says, opened his eyes quite a bit. “There are certainly some people who are disabled who are low-income, and this benefits them by saving the money,” he says. “I don’t take that lightly at all. At the same time, I think there’s a better way to help people like that.” He points to Michigan, which issues two different kinds of disabled placards: the first grants users access to disabled spaces, and the second allows for a payment exemption for those who physically can’t operate meters.

“Ten-thousand people signed up and got those placards [that allow payment exemptions],” he says. “That’s one-fiftieth of the placards in circulation.”

He’s not sure how many of the placards he’s seen are fake or altered, but municipal officials in many cities think lots are. And many of those are cracking down on abuse of disabled parking spaces through legislation, higher fines, and sting operations. One—Corpus Christi, Texas—found a rather unique way to reduce such cases. They brought the media onboard.

Inviting the News Along
Marcus Denson took over as parking control operations manager for the Corpus Christi Police Department in September 2010, and was invited to a meeting of the mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities shortly after. There, he heard about rampant abuse of the city’s disabled parking spaces.

He started tracking cars parked in disabled spaces. “After a month, 40 percent of the ones we saw had no placard, had expired placards, or had altered placards,” he says. “And I don’t mean the expired ones were expired by a day or two, but by two or three years.”

He and his officers went on the offensive, writing 40 or more citations per day for those abusers. “We pounded it,” he says. “Weekends, hitting big chain stores and malls, using overtime. It was very successful but we decided that even though we were writing a lot of citations, that wasn’t our objective. The goal was to reduce the abuse so our citizens could find proper parking.” And that, he decided, was going to take local reporters’ involvement.

“We contacted all the T.V. stations and the newspaper,” he says. “We realized that Tuesdays and Wednesays are slow news days, and those people are digging for stuff to cover, and we had to get them on those days.” He invited them to send reporters and cameras out with enforcement officers on disabled space duty, and they responded.

“As we were citing people and they came out to their cars, the reporters got in their faces with cameras,” says Denson. “One station did a three- or four-day documentary about it, going out and asking people why they parked in those spots. It was really powerful and we saw an immediate effect.”

Forward Momentum
Once word got out through the news that parking enforcement was after disabled space abusers, the misuse of spots reserved for the disabled dropped dramatically, Denson says.

“The real power of it is that we focused on the objective and not just writing citations,” he says. “The objective is to end the problem, and the way to do that is education. You can write citations all day long, but you can’t cite your way out of the problem. The press loves it.”

At the same time the press ride-alongs went on, Denson and his staff set up a secure website to post photographs of violators’ vehicles, license plates, and marked spaces where they parked. Access to the site was offered to city prosecutors.
“Just like that, our conviction rate went way up,” says Denson. And after that, he went after those selling fake or altered placards.

“There’s a flea market in town,” he says. “We had multiple reports of someone there selling altered placards but we could never catch them.” Enforcement officers, though, cited seven to eight altered placards per day out on the roads. Unfortunately, the only ticket they could write was for an altered placard, which had a much lesser penalty than that for a counterfeit placard.

Denson drafted legislation to amend the state code and fix that, and took his verbiage back to the Committee for Persons with Disabilities. It became law in September 2011, making the use of an altered placard a Class A misdemeanor with a hefty fine.

“After that, we went out with the press on another sting,” he says. “It was on every news station in the area for three days.” The result: officers who found seven to eight altered placards per day before that found only two the entire next year.

These days, parking enforcement officers step up their game around the December holidays, and word gets out quickly. The final result, says Denson is that disabled space abuse is way down, and those who actually need the spots can find them. “I went out to train a new officer a few months ago and told him I was going to show him how easy it is to patrol disabled parking,” he says. “We went out at 5 p.m., which is when people are stopping by stores and abusing spaces, and we ran for four hours. I wrote one citation.”

For their part, the city’s residents are thrilled. “What sticks in my mind is that I was at a grocery store one day that has about 10 disabled spaces,” he says. “Four of them were taken by sports cars without disabled placards. I was writing citations and saw an elderly lady pull into a spot half an aisle down. She was a tiny lady using a walker, and she slowly gets up to me, rolls her walker right against me, puts her arms around me, and says, ‘Thank you for caring.’ I still get emotional about that one. That’s why we’re doing this.”

He’s not the only one with that kind of story. “Our guys will be writing a ticket and a car will stop,” he says. “Six people will stand there and applaud us as we’re writing that citation. That’s what my people love the most—every time we’re out there, people come up and shake our hands and hug us and tell us they appreciate our efforts. People say they hate parking people, but they’re out there helping us like that. It’s been a big image shift.”

Kim Fernandez is editor of The Parking Professional. She can be reached at fernandez@parking. org.

TPP-2013-09-Cracking Down

Parking Power

TPP-2013-09-Parking Power

City planner and author Jeff Speck talks about the role parking plays in creating walkable cities.

Jeff Speck, AICP, CNU-A, Leed AP, Hon. ASLA, didn’t start out writing about parking. A renowned city planner and architect, his first book, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, looked at the reasons behind sprawl.

Parking didn’t take center stage until publication of his newest book, Walkable City: How Downtown can Save America, One Step at a Time, last November. The book looks at how making cities more walkable, embracing complete streets, and re-thinking traffic and parking can benefit neighborhoods, residents, and businesses. He recently sat down with The Parking Professional to talk about it.

The Parking Professional: Where did the idea for the book originate?

Jeff Speck: Almost everything I’ve learned about the management of parking and policy, I learned from Don Shoup, Ph.D. Where I have value-added, I believe, is in complete streets and how parking can be used to make them. Traditional resources don’t talk about the incredible roles parallel and angle curb parking play in making places walkable and livable. Almost nobody understands the importance of the barrier of steel that parking forms between the traffic and the sidewalk that makes the sidewalk feel comfortable.

This is a follow-up to a book I wrote with some colleagues called Suburban Nation. It’s essentially a new urbanist argument: we love older cities and towns, and we love making new ones that use the lessons of those places, but we hate suburban sprawl. And now, the challenge is not so much the “suburban” as it is the “sprawl.” We’re auto-dependent. The differences between places that work for us and those that don’t isn’t gauged on how dense the population is, but to what degree we’re dependent on the auto to survive and accomplish our daily needs. Is the car a means of freedom, or is it a prosthetic device?

Where does parking fit in?

A number of us in new urbanism have been looking with a lot more focus on our existing communities as opposed to making new ones. Many of our clients are municipalities—mayors or municipal officers or citizens who care about cities. What’s always stated or implied in our discussions is that we all want street life. I’ve been thinking about this for many years: if the measure of a successful downtown is street life, how do you get people to walk? Particularly in a country where everyone drives, I started thinking about how can we—and how do we—make walking a superior choice to driving?

This isn’t an anti-car argument. It assumes and accepts that most Americans will continue to own and drive cars, but it acknowledges that the most successful places in the country are places where cars aren’t central. Those are cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and smaller places where people have embraced biking and walking, such as Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis. It’s really two handfuls of cities in all. The problem is that all the city planning intellectuals live in only those cities. No one is talking about the fact that most Americans don’t live there. In typical small to mid-sized cities where most people live, there’s not been much discussion or much progress.

Let’s talk about the typical American downtown. For awhile, every American city was becoming like Los Angeles. Our streets that used to be two or four lanes became four to six lanes, and the parking was wiped off the curbs. The first thing cities do is turn the parking lanes into driving lanes, if not permanently then at least during rush hour. It’s very typical to say, “No parking on this curb during rush hour.” But that curb is where a cafe is going to have a happy hour, and nobody is going to sit at those tables. The side that has curb parking is full of customers, and the side with traffic has only empty tables, and pretty soon the bar goes out of business. I just observed this in Fort Lauderdale. People do not sit unprotected three feet away from cars going 60 feet a second. It’s not human nature.

Parallel parking was the first sacrifice to the gods of smooth traffic. That would be acceptable if it didn’t wreck cities or if it worked. But it doesn’t work. The fundamental argument above all others is that when you try to fight congestion by increasing capacity, you remove the one impediment to people driving more, which is congestion. So the question isn’t whether you’re going to have congestion, but how many lanes of congestion you’re going to have.

TPP: What about dynamic parking pricing? It seems businesses aren’t convinced it’s a good thing.

There are three things merchants tend to believe that are wrong: that street trees, streetcars, and properly priced parking will harm their business. Experience has shown us that nothing but the opposite is true.

The key factor in getting merchants to agree to higher-priced parking in front of
their businesses is to take most of the revenue from that higher price and invest it in the streets, the trees, the storefronts, and the environment of that exact place. It’s only a price gouge if you charge more than you need to get the desired outcome, which is one empty space per block face. You need to have confidence that Daddy Warbucks can find a space near the furrier, and then also provide lower-priced parking at a site located a farther distance away. As Bill Fulton, the former mayor of Ventura, Calif., said, “If you were allowed to drive right into the mall and park in front of a store, you can bet they’d charge more for that.”

TPP: So what’s the key to providing enough parking?

JS: I’ve worked in cities where it meant lowering the cost of parking because there were too many spaces. In Davenport, Iowa, we made spaces free. Previously, lots were free and streets were not, and nobody was parking along the curbs. We made the streets free just to have cars protecting the sidewalks. But most cities have the opposite problem, which is curb overcrowding.
We’re now seeing these expensive, high-tech congestion pricing plans such as in San Francisco, which placed sensors in the street and otherwise very carefully and intelligently varied the price of parking. I think you can get 90 percent of the bang with one-one-hundredth of the buck by simply pricing parking properly with limited variation. In most cases, it’s not a case of adjusting for a dozen circumstances, but rather just adding a buck during certain hours.

TPP: How can parking be used more effectively to make cities more walkable?

JS: The biggest blight to walkability in most cities is the large number of private surface parking lots that line the sidewalks. The problem with those lots is that they’re private and they’re profitable. It’s difficult to convince an owner to put something else there unless it’s going to have better cash flow. It’s true for city-owned lots as well. The city is counting on that revenue. The intelligent impulse to reduce the amount of off-street parking in a downtown often means you’re reducing public income. That can be a struggle.

The way to balance that equation is to charge the right amount of parking on the street. If you price the most popular parking spots properly, the net revenue to the city shouldn’t be any worse.

TPP: Why the emphasis on on-street parking over off-street city lots?

JS: Curb parking does so much more for cities and towns than people understand. It protects the sidewalk. It delivers people to the sidewalk rather than to a parking lot behind a building. Street parking isn’t typically found right in front of people’s destinations, so those people end up being pedestrians. They start bumping into each other, and that creates street life and civic culture.

The National Main Street Center said many years ago that each on-street parking spot that’s eliminated costs business owners $10,000 per year. That data is old enough that it’s probably closer to $20,000 per year. Retail experts such as Bob Gibbs will tell you that certain kinds of stores can’t survive without the teaser of parking, and very few businesses won’t suffer tremendously from having no parking in front. It also makes cars drive slower because of the potential for conflict of cars pulling in and out, which of course enhances walkability.

Most cities I work with don’t begin to fully recognize the value of on-street parking.

TPP: You talk about the value of back-in angled parking, but it’s not terribly popular. Why not?

There’s a fun controversy between head-in and back-in parking. My take on it is to acknowledge that back-in parking is clearly safer. Head-in forces you to back out into a dynamic system, but backing in is more difficult—you’re backing into a tight area versus an open area. If you’ve got a city where people already know how to parallel park, you’ve got a hope of getting back-in parking passed. But if you don’t have parallel parking in your city, don’t even try it. People won’t be able to do it.

There’s another thing to think about: head-in parking and bikes don’t mix. The real-world experience is that bicyclists’ lives are saved and injuries drop when cities switch from head-in to back-in parking. But some cities, like Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were willing to try back-in parking and ended up reversing it later, because drivers just hated it. One city council member said he voted for it just “for the entertainment value!” People generally want head-in or parallel when it comes to on-street parking. But don’t do head-in where you have cyclists.

Often what I do is take cities in which streets are just too wide—they’ve got more lanes than they need—and finding ways with nothing but paint to right-size those streets, to turn them into complete streets. What that often means is turning parallel parking back into angle parking and reversing an unfortunate history—turning that four-lane system back into a two-lane system by re-angling the parking. This makes the streets better for businesses and for pedestrians by slowing traffic slightly in a way that does not impact commute times. It’s a win-win-win.

TPP-2013-09-Parking Power

We Are All Mad Men (And Women)

TPP-2013-09-We Are All Mad Men (And Women)By Bill Smith, APR

From the youngest entry-level employee to the CEO, we are all constantly marketing ourselves, our organizations, and our industry. The things we communicate and the ways we handle that communication affect the way people perceive us. At the same time, we are continuously (often inadvertently) promoting our organizations and the parking industry as a whole.

When you talk to a client or business association about yourself and your work, you are marketing. When you talk to your boss about your latest project, you are marketing (in this case, you are marketing your personal brand). When you talk about your job at a summer barbecue, you are marketing. Whether you like it or not, you are a marketer. And you are always marketing.

Chances are you’ve never thought of marketing in quite this way. If not, it’s time to rethink what marketing means to your career (or personal brand), your organization, and your industry, and how the three complement each other. As President John F. Kennedy famously said, “A high tide lifts all boats.”

Dual Marketing
When you promote your personal brand by talking about your work, you are also communicating about your organization and about parking in general. For example, if you are a planner and you talk or write about how your planning work has made a community more livable and promoted business development, you aren’t just demonstrating what a good planner you are. You are also demonstrating the type of work your firm does, the high level of talent it employs, and the importance of parking to the community.

Likewise, when you communicate about your organization and its work and values, you are also communicating about yourself (as an employee of that organization) and your industry.

So now you know that you are a marketer. What do you do next?

Making it Work
The kind of personal marketing we are talking about needs to become part of your professional DNA. You can’t go into every interaction thinking, “Jeez, I’d better do some marketing.” It needs to come instinctively. Give some thought to why you think your work is important and exciting, and get comfortable talking about these points. Don’t be afraid to brag about the quality of your work, how great your company is, and the importance of parking. The more you talk about these things, the easier it will become. In fact, over time you will develop a sort of elevator speech about you, your company, and your industry, probably without even realizing it’s happening.

There will be plenty of opportunities to give this speech. It will happen when you are in meetings with clients and prospects, with strategic partners and community leaders, and with colleagues and company executives. You’ll have opportunities to talk about yourself and your work pretty much every day and in every setting imaginable. Eventually you’ll start giving your elevator speech without thinking about it.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to market. For instance, public relations offers great opportunities. By writing articles for industry and business publications, you can demonstrate your expertise, the quality of your work, and the importance of parking. Likewise, speaking opportunities create great opportunities to demonstrate your expertise. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are also great marketing tools.

There are numerous ways to promote your personal brand, your organization, and your industry. But the vital first step is to recognize that you are, in fact, a marketer with compelling story to tell about the work that you do, your firm, and your profession. When you accept this role, you’ll find that the high tide does indeed lift all boats.

Bill Smith, APR, is a principal at Smith Phillips Strategic Communications.
He can be reached at bsmith@smith-phillips.com.

TPP-2013-09-We Are All Mad Men (And Women)

The Greenest Parking Space

TPP-2013-09-The Greenest Parking SpaceBy Matthew Inman

Parking is getting greener. There is a wide range of options to choose from to help mitigate a parking facility’s effect on the environment, from energy-efficient lighting systems and solar panels to green roofs and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. One thing hasn’t changed: parking facilities exist to store one of the least ­environmentally-friendly forms of transportation on the planet. That’s especially true when cars are used to transport one person.

Until everyone uses transit, rides a bicycle, or walks to their destination, we will need parking facilities. We can’t flip a switch and change our primary transportation choice. However, we can ensure that each parking facility effectively serves the community in which it’s built. This means maximizing the use of available parking resources (both public and private), efficiently operating and managing the parking system, and supporting alternative forms of transportation before breaking ground on more parking. Properly managing and using existing parking and transportation resources while adequately planning for future needs is the greenest way to provide parking.

Before constructing additional parking, consider the following questions:

How is the existing parking supply used? Conduct an assessment of existing parking supply and demand in the area that is being considered for additional parking. Both public and private parking supplies should be included in the analysis. If underutilized supplies are found, investigate alternatives to improve the use of available parking and mitigate future needs. This could include improved signage and wayfinding, better marketing and communications, real-time parking availability information, demand-based pricing strategies, or circulator shuttles encouraging private parking facilities to provide public parking.

Are existing facilities as efficient as possible? There may be opportunities to improve the functional design of existing parking facilities and create more parking. Improving the efficiency of existing parking lots and structures is much less expensive than constructing new facilities. There may also be opportunities to improve facility operations to support more parking. For example, valet parking can increase parking capacity by 10 to 30 percent, depending on the facility and the skill of the parking operator’s staff.

Are existing parking requirements adequately estimating parking demand for new developments? Code requirements that specify a set amount of parking per square foot of development almost always result in too much parking. Requirements should be based on realistic demand ratios that are specific to the community in which they are applied, and provide reasonable reductions for shared off-street parking, available on-street parking, and alternative forms of transportation. Work with local planning officials to ensure parking requirements are flexible enough to support community planning goals.

Is the parking system managed to accommodate or encourage parking? Gone are the days when parking management existed in a vacuum. Today, parking and transportation management are nearly one and the same; parking is just one way people access a community. A parking program should support the use of alternative forms of transportation by accommodating bicycles in parking facilities, developing programs that merge parking and transit (e.g., periodic parking for daily transit users), marketing the availability of mass transit, accommodating car sharing programs, appropriately pricing parking, not overbuilding parking, etc.

If available resources are well-used, appropriately managed, and efficiently designed and a future parking shortage is still anticipated, it may be time to construct more parking. Planning should focus on shared public parking in well-located structures rather than surface parking lots and private facilities. This will reduce the amount of land dedicated to parking, increase use, better focus vehicular traffic, and create more pedestrian-friendly areas. Better management and planning will ensure we pave less of paradise to put up parking lots.

Matthew Inman is vice president, studies and operations consulting at Carl Walker, Inc., and a member of IPI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at minman@carlwalker.com or 269.381.2222.

TPP-2013-09-The Greenest Parking Space

Evaluating Parking Programs

TPP-2013-09-Evaluating Parking ProgramsBy Jack Santa

I am sometimes assigned to evaluate the parking and/or transportation operation of an organization using my experience as both a consultant and as a commercial parking and transportation operator. The evaluation is usually commissioned to recommend methods to enhance service delivery and/or reduce costs. While parking operations consist of many components, I focus on seven that offer a reliable assessment of a parking organization.

Legal Mandates
Public parking operations are established by ordinance or charter provisions that outline the services to be provided, fees, enforcement authority, etc. Over time, these legal mandates become obsolete or are broadened to include services that were not originally intended. I first concentrate on evaluating these mandates to recommend changes that can expand revenue opportunities and/or eliminate services that are not essential to the organization.

Staff Education and Experience
I evaluate the level of parking education of staff members. Professional certifications such as IPI’s Certified Administrator of Public Parking (CAPP) and attendance at parking-related seminars and events offer an indication of the staff’s knowledge of the services they provide. Experience is also important. A person can be taught how to calculate the vehicle turnover rate of a particular facility, but it is far more difficult to teach what happens to campus parking operations during the first week of the fall semester. Experience providing parking services can improve service delivery by avoiding known problems.

Internal Processes
Time is indeed money, and the time required to accomplish routine management tasks affects an organization’s budget. As a former commercial parking operator, I am often surprised to learn how much time is required to replace a front-line employee or even a piece of equipment in a public organization. This often results in overtime, a delay in performing certain tasks, customer dissatisfaction, and/or lost revenue. I look for ways to reduce delays in the methods used to support the delivery of parking services.

Service Delivery

It’s 10 p.m. on a Friday and a rain storm has delayed a number of arriving flights at an airport. Two cashiers are scheduled to go off duty, leaving only one to handle the late crowd. Should one of the two stay at work? In another scenario, a customer pays the lost ticket fee only to find the ticket a few minutes later and return for a refund. Do you refund the money? The way an organization handles these situations is often based upon events from the past; how many times do we hear, “We’ve always done it that way.” Of course, solutions from the past are not aways the most appropriate for today’s situations. I rate organizations on their ability to make reasonable exceptions to the rules.

Emergency Preparedness
Every parking organization is likely to encounter some sort of emergency (fire, bomb threat, severe weather, etc.) at some point. I first inquire whether emergency procedures have been outlined. Then, I examine those procedures to determine their adequacy. Finally, I ask a line employee if he or she is aware where the written emergency procedures are located.

All equipment requires maintenance. Vehicles, parking equipment, and even the office printer need periodic attention. Parking lots and structures also benefit from inspections by qualified professionals. I ask about maintenance schedules and to inspect maintenance records. Regular data backup is another form of maintenance. Maintenance costs money, but lack of maintenance costs more.

Auditing provides a means to ensure the organization’s revenue control efforts are effective. What is audited and the frequency of those audits is important. It is not enough to compare the fee shift report to the revenue collected by the cashier. It is also necessary to audit that shift report to verify its consecutiveness to ensure no secret shift occurred during the day.

That delivery of parking services is a complex process, but examining these seven components provides a valid measurement of the effectiveness of that delivery.

Jack Santa is a partner with Integrity Parking Systems and a member of IPI’s Consultants Committee. He can be reached at jacksanta@integrityparking.com or 440.543.4123.

TPP-2013-09-Evaluating Parking Programs