Tag Archives: TPP-2015-03

When The Customer Hears…

TPP-2015-03-When The Customer Hears...By V. Ann Paulins, PhD, and Teresa Trussell, CAPP

As parking administrators know, developing a workforce of customer service providers who are committed to building a valuable parking brand for the organization can be a big challenge. Our employees have an enormous responsibility in building a positive image for parking operations. These employees are the ones who answer the phones and provide first impressions when current or prospective clients seek to communicate with us. As with other businesses in which customers drive the work environment, customer service in parking operations is essential. Unfortunately for parking professionals, their business—in much the same way as an airline or finance office—cannot always accommodate customer requests. In fact, many policies that are in place for the well-being and safety of the community and to ensure efficient daily operations are not favored by those who use our services.

In the parking services department (and as in the offices of many service providers) at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, the majority of our customer service representatives are part-time employees. On our campus, virtually all of our part-time employees are students who work until graduating. This creates a dynamic of new employees on a regular basis and, consequently, a need for ongoing customer service training along with an effort to ensure employees are appropriately educated on all policies and regulations.

To best serve our customers, employees must be knowledgeable and have confidence in policies and procedures. Having a clear understanding of the rules and regulations allows employees to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to find ways to meet the needs of their customers in a caring, efficient manner. But simple knowledge of policies and procedures is not enough; especially in heated customer service interactions, the best strategy is for all customer service employees to be prepared for difficult situations, including telling customers no.


As in other customer service environments, parking services’ frontline customer service representatives are, to borrow a phrase, where the rubber meets the road—they are the voice of parking operations and they build the brand image, positive or negative, that is communicated community-wide by word of mouth. As Jeff Petry noted in the June 2014 issue of The Parking Professional, parking has thousands of consumer interactions each day that determine customers’ perceptions of their business. We want to make the most of the opportunity to engage with customers and leave them with a positive experience when communicating with us. We, like many other parking operations departments, are often unpopular and battle negative stereotypes associated with parking enforcement activities.

At Ohio University, the parking office partnered with the academic retailing program in the Patton College of Education to study customer service in the parking program and, in particular, explore what happens when customers hear “no.” We investigated how clients rated the services they received during patron-initiated telephone encounters and compared the customer service ratings between those whose requests were able to be honored and those whose requests were denied.

We employed independent researchers who listened to and rated the service provided by parking employees using a previously established service quality scale. Simultaneously, we employed the Ohio University Scripps College Research and Survey Center to survey the customers themselves, using the same scale. What we found did not surprise us: Independent evaluators rated the customer service quality the same regardless of whether requests were met or not, but the customers whose asks were denied rated our services levels less favorably than customers whose requests were met. This gives us a strong rationale to attend to the perception of customer service provided by our parking employees and develop a best-practices approach to mitigate the inevitable outcome of perceived poor services when we are unable to accommodate individual requests.

How Customers Hear “No”
Parking operations staff are all too familiar with the typical situations often leading to customer requests being unmet. During the period of our study, the following situations comprised the reasons customer requests were denied:

  • Wanted a better reserved parking space when none were available.
  • Ineligible for campus parking but wanted parking privileges.
  • Wanted citation to be voided.
  • Wanted access to parking lots that were closed for other events.
  • Wanted a boot removed free of charge or a tow reimbursed.
  • Wanted policies and procedures changed to accommodate their specific needs or wants.

Driving Best Practices
Based on previous experience, word-of-mouth, or the unpleasant event of being ticketed and fined for their failure to follow parking rules, customers often form negative impressions well before they call our office. These preconceived perceptions carry over and they form an opinion before they ever speak to a customer service representative. Therefore, even when customer service employees are performing at exceptional levels, customers can be emotionally unable to recognize the caring and responsive service.

Best practices revolve around the concept of empathy, which requires time and attention of customer service providers. Delivering empathy effectively to customers requires authenticity. This is a quality that may or may not come naturally to the service provider, but it can be taught through ongoing customer service training. We found specific case studies provide great resources for the process of delivering high quality customer service with four steps.

Many customer requests that result in hearing “no” originate because of a need to solve an individual dilemma. More often than not, our customers don’t really know what they want or need but, rather, focus on one request they believe will solve their situation; it may not be the best solution at all. The following case study, a real example that emerged in the collaborative research we conducted, illustrates this concept and serves as a training module for customer service.

Case Study: Molly

The scenario: Molly called the parking office saying that she needed a commuter permit. However, Molly did not qualify for that permit due to her proximity to campus.

Step 1: Listen to the customer’s stated need and ask the right questions.
Customers do not often give their full stories. Typically, they state a request instead of their actual need. Parking employees need to listen to the statements made by customers and then exhibit empathy by asking questions that are appropriate to the customer’s particular situation. The customer service representative here could have easily stated Molly’s ineligibility without further questions and discontinued the encounter. By doing so, the customer service provided would have been neither rude nor inaccurate and would have answered the customer’s question. However, offering positive and empathetic service requires greater depth of understanding of the customer’s unasked question.

The parking services employee asked Molly more about her particular situation and why she wanted a commuter permit. He learned more about Molly’s predicament— she lived off campus but needed a parking spot relatively close to school so she could attend class and quickly access her car to get to her job several miles off campus. Further investigation by the employee revealed that the commuter permit Molly wanted was not actually the best solution to her dilemma. Parking operations maintains an updated list of alternative off-campus parking vendors that employees are encouraged to share with customers such as Molly.

In this case, the customer’s need was met even though she initially heard “no,” and her evaluation of service was strong. More outcomes like this are possible, and we have enhanced our employee training in an effort to have employees seek and respond to the unasked questions.

Step 2: Be attentive to tone of voice, especially on the telephone.
Parking services providers should be upbeat. Voice tone sends an unspoken message to customers. They may feel they are annoying you with one tone, while another lets them enjoy speaking with you. Even when saying all of the right things, the voice tone can be either off-putting or reassuring. Especially when they’re upset, customers may only hear the employee’s tone, not the words.

Step 3: Convey positive mannerisms and body language.
While our research project focused on customer service in phone conversations, we included non-verbal communication strategies in our training modules. Positive mannerisms include making eye contact and exhibiting professional posture that says, “I am listening to you and I am interested in what you are saying.” Our young (and typically inexperienced) employees need to be trained to actively refrain from sighs, eye rolls, arm crossing, lounging posture, and other negative body language.

Step 4: Summarize and offer a positive and empathetic close.
When concluding a customer service encounter, especially when the customer has heard “no,” employees should summarize the content of the discussion, re-state the customer’s real problem, and review suggested alternative solutions to the initial request. A positive, caring closing statement should be the final memory that the customer takes away from the interaction. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Training is essential and makes a differencein creating a positive work environment, as well as providing a positive customer relations environment. Ensuring customer service employees are armed with basic customer service skills, such as listening to the customer and hearing him out, repeating what the customer said and probing with more questions, providing options for the customer that fit within policy, all while maintaining a pleasant tone, allows your employees to effectively do their jobs and keep situations from escalating. Dealing with an angry customer is tricky, and training is key to ensuring that all customers feel satisfied even if they hear “no.”

V. Ann Paulins, PhD, is senior associate dean, research and graduate studies, at the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at Ohio University. She can be reached at paulins@ohio.edu.

Teresa Trussell, CAPP, is parking operations supervisor at Ohio University. She can be reached at trussell@ohio.edu.

TPP-2015-03-When The Customer Hears…

Simple Fixes

TPP-2015-03-Simple FixesBy Ron Steedly, CAPP, MEd, LCI

Let’s face it: Bicycle transportation on a college campus is essential. No matter if the campus is 5,200 acres like Texas A&M University (10th in the nation in overall acres) with nearly 56,000 students or 14 acres like Thomas More College of Liberal Arts with its 84 students, you will find bicycles at school.

If you have ever looked closely at the bicycles parked in college campus racks, you might have seen a fleet of metal and rubber dying a slow death. Rows and rows of “Bicycle-Shaped Objects” (BSO) fill the racks, showing the effects of weather and a lack of maintenance. Rust on most metal parts such as the chain, chain ring, and cassette (gears); flat tires; exposed tubes; melted grips; disintegrated seats; and missing parts are common. If you listen carefully, you may hear a faint “help me” groan coming from the bicycle parking area. These bicycles want to be used and seen as reliable transportation for the owners, but they need proper care.

A very small percentage of these bicycles is owned by cyclists who are cognizant of the need for bicycle maintenance to keep their bikes healthy. In an ongoing informal poll conducted by me when I am out and about on campus, the response to, “Before college, when was the last time you used a bicycle on a regular basis?” is a resounding “middle school,” at least 90 percent of the time. That explains a lot about understanding the essential need for maintenance (in addition to the disregard for traffic laws, the scary driving tactics, and the need to practice for the bicycle slalom Olympic event using pedestrians as slalom poles).

So how do we make a dent for the better in this reality? Education! After all, college is an institution of higher education, right? That is what we set out to do at Texas A&M University. Bicycles on campus do not equal bicycle transportation—bicycles being useable and properly used do.

Bike-Friendly University

For those unfamiliar with the Bicycle Friendly University evaluation criteria through the League of American Bicyclists, there are five Es that make up evaluation categories (engineering, enforcement, encouragement, evaluation, and education). All the Es affect each other in some way, but mitigating the maintenance problem so many of us observe at school begins with education.

At Texas A&M University, the Department of Transportation Services has an alternative transportation unit that I have the pleasure of managing. The university bicycle program falls under my purview and earned me the nickname “The Bike Guy” because we have more than 11,000 privately owned bicycles on campus. We also have a department of recreational sports with an Outdoor Adventures unit that happens to teach a basic bicycle maintenance class.

Outdoor Adventures’ main location is a bit remote on campus, so attendance for the bicycle maintenance class was consistent but small. I attended the class to see what it was like and found it to be valuable in teaching basics such as keeping the drive train clean and lubed, repairing a flat tire with a patch kit or new tube, and other basic upkeep maintenance items, including proper tire pressure and brake checks. It occurred to me during the class that if more bicycle owners knew how and did the basics, they could have a huge effect on the health of the bicycles on campus.


In the summer of 2013, a partnership was formed between the alternative transportation unit and Outdoor Aventures to address the need to educate the masses regarding all things bicycle. Bicycle maintenance seemed like a major component of embracing bikes as real transportation. Students can’t and won’t ride bicycles that aren’t maintained, so we needed to get the bicycles healthy. The existing bicycle maintenance class covered the basics and the necessary tools were available for the students, but attendance just wasn’t there.

During the course of the next year, we brainstormed marketing ideas and an operations plan. We knew we needed an area on main campus that was more accessible to customers than the existing class, and we needed to find a better location. We learned that’s easier said than done. Finding available real estate on a college campus for something new is like looking for gold sifting through your cat’s litter box.

The dining services department had possession of a small building that was originally a parking lot attendant booth. For many years, it was a Chinese takeout location and then a hot dog stand. The building eventually became vacant, and the dining services department returned it to transportation services for our use. We struck gold. This building would be great for our project. Not only was in under our control, but the best part was its location—directly across from an on-campus housing area with more than 6,300 students. It was a perfect location, in our opinion, to house a new do-it-yourself (DIY) bike maintenance facility.

After some clean-up, repairs, paint, signage, and planning, the location we call “The HUB” was ready for use. Jason Kurten, assistant director for Outdoor Adventures, describes it:

The HUB is a drop-in location that offers students, faculty, staff, and general public access to the specialty bike tools that are needed to fix your own bike. Whether you need to fix a flat, adjust your seat, rebuild your bottom bracket or tweak your brakes, we have the tools to help you. In addition, we have Internet access in case you need to look up a good DIY video. We’ll also have a few convenience items for sale if customers need to patch or replace a tube or pick up a light to ride at night. In addition, we are working to create a space around The HUB that is attractive to the bike and outdoor communities at large. We’ll be offering various outdoor programs and clinics on the grounds around the Hub including farmers market bike rides, outdoor lecture series, and slackline demonstrations. As we go along, The HUB will be partnering with various on- and off-campus partners to better serve the A&M Community.

The HUB was open last fall on a limited basis. This was done to work out any bugs with having an off site location for Outdoor Adventures. Technology, payment processing, and facility operations were tested and continually improved during the semester. As the landlord, it also gave me an opportunity to ensure the facility was at the level it needed to be for my new tenants. We did some grassroots marketing through both departments, but nothing complicated. Business was steady throughout the semester despite the fact that we did not heavily market the service.

The costs to use the facility are very reasonable. For $5 for the day or $20 for the entire semester, customers have access to specialty bicycle tools that include bottom bracket removal tools, chain tools, truing stand, spoke wrenches, assorted bicycle wrenches, and many other bicycle-specific tools.

Beyond DIY Repair
Not everyone wants to wrench on their own bicycle, so The HUB established partnerships with local bicycle shops to refer customers for fee-based maintenance. The shops provide fliers and coupons to The HUB that are handed out to customers who are not DIYers so they can be informed of their options. We are definitely on track to raise the awareness for the need to keep bicycles healthy.

On occasion, the university police department sets up engraving services at The HUB. This allows students to have their university ID number or driver license number engraved on their property and helps students get the necessary information from their bicycles so they can register their bikes online.

The HUB is also a location where the students can sign up for other Outdoor Adventures activities and events. The location of The HUB is in the heart of campus so the activities it offers are sure to attract the attention of the Aggie community. The hope is the facility will self-market, not only for bicycle maintenance but for all things outdoors.

To expand on the education for bicycle owners, we have also partnered with the City of College Station to offer bicycle safety classes to teach the rules of the road, basic maintenance, and on-road skills. We use certified instructors through The League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructor (LCI) program. We offer a three-hour quick class and an eight-hour full class through the city’s parks and recreation department.

To sum it up, we are educating to encourage bicycling as legitimate transportation so the Aggie community can confidently use the engineering (bicycle facilities) and other resources within the law so they are not negatively affected by enforcement, all of which allows us to constantly evaluate the program to make it better.

Ron Steedly, CAPP, MEd, LCI, is alternative transportation manager with the transportation services department at Texas A&M University. He can be reached at rsteedly@tamu.edu.

TPP-2015-03-Simple Fixes

Invaluable Resource

TPP-2015-03-Invaluable ResourceBy Douglas Holmes, CAPP

Long before we all embraced Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Skype, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, the World Wide Web, or even Google, there was CPARK-L, a parking-specific email list. CPARK-L was created out of my selfish desire to obtain information to help me do my job but also to serve the campus parking management community. Since then, the list has withstood the test of technological times—it turned 21 years old a few weeks ago.

CPARK-L is an Internet list that is very simple in concept and very useful in practice. Basically, like all Internet lists, it is a glorified remailer. People subscribe to the list and post questions, and CPARK-L mails the queries out automatically to all subscribers.

CPARK-L creates a roundtable discussion with your peers at any time of the day, whenever you want, on any subject relating to parking and transit. The list links you to any subscriber in the world. You will recognize names that are already subscribed as you read their postings to the list. CPARK-L can bring ideas to you from around the country and from around the world and offer you the ability to provide information to your peers.

The Birth of the List
The idea for CPARK-L was hatched when I was notified by my then-vice-president that my operation was not running lean enough and that most campuses across the country had much lower overhead costs than ours. I had no way to check the accuracy of the comment and spent days on the phone contacting similar universities, trying to get benchmark information and, if we were indeed fatter, to solicit ways to trim things up.

After a couple weeks, I had my answers and was able to write a report and action plan to satisfy the VP’s concern. Fortunately, we compared quite favorably to peer institutions. The problem was that the research effort was labor-intensive, and I wanted a way to at least help speed up information-gathering without engaging in unnecessary games of phone tag.

A couple weeks later at a meeting on campus, I explained my challenge to my colleague, Pete Weiss. Pete worked in the university’s computer system and is a technical genius. After an explanation of just what an Internet list was, we decided to create CPARK-L. It was a way for me to quickly garner information, help, tips, and advice from campus parking managers. Pete is no longer fully active on CPARK-L, but I still seek out his knowledge from time to time. I act as the editor of the list.

The reason I say “campus parking managers” is quite simple. Back when we kicked the list off, Internet access was common on campuses but not in corporate or governmental America. (Anyone remember Gopher?) However, as the Internet expanded its reach, the list’s subscriber base grew in other sectors of the profession. Municipalities and other governmental agencies that dealt with parking began using it, as did medical centers, mass transportation authorities, and entertainment venues.

Subscribers were slow in coming at first. However, as word spread at regional conferences, by word of mouth, and through the International Parking Institute (IPI), the number of subscribers grew quickly. Today, there are more than 1,200 subscribers from countries all over the world, including Australia, Canada, Cocos Islands, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

The Value

There are several factors that make CPARK-L such a handy tool. First, and foremost, it is free. It does not cost anything to subscribe, maintain your subscription, or have access to the archives. All you need is an Internet connection. There are no advertisements or pop-ups. The database is not provided to vendors, although there are many vendor subscribers (they are not allowed to post advertisements, but many provide solid non-promotional response to technical questions).

The value to vendors is that they can see market trends developing through the various discussion threads that make their way to CPARK-L. They also get valuable insight into the kinds of products that parking professionals need or want to make their operations more efficient.

CPARK-L can serve as a recruitment tool for employers looking for quality parking professionals. Organizations have reached out to the subscriber base to find parking managers, alternative transportation managers, transit managers, and other specialized disciplines that are needed to ensure the smooth operation of a quality parking/transportation system. As parking continues to diversify and become integrated with transit operations, CPARK-L can help serve as a clearinghouse for
information as the world evolves.

CPARK-L has also been used by state and regional parking associations to announce their upcoming educational programs and trade shows.

CPARK-L has a searchable archive that can look back three years. A web interface makes the archives easy to access. Topics are wide-ranging, from permit distribution systems to cash-­handling procedures, from bicycle sharing programs to ride sharing to carpools to vanpools. In January, for example, there were requests for information on consultant selection, enforcement technology, and public safety as it relates to a parking system. In December 2014, there were 32 different discussion threads; six job postings in municipal and academic settings; and threads dealing with bikes, (bicycle lockers and bicycle enforcement), campus shuttle operations, carpool permits, lighting issues, requests for sample RFPs on various items, and requests for help on how to deal with students called up for active military duty.

Using the List

Using CPARK-L is pretty simple. To subscribe, visit lists.cac.psu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=CPARK-L&A=1.

Follow the prompts, and you are done. You will get a confirmation note in your email in a short period of time. You will also be provided with instructions on how to use the system, including how to obtain a self-assigned password that you’ll need to search the archives.

To post to the list, simply send an email to CPARK-L@lists.psu.edu.

It is important to include a significant descriptive heading in the subject line. Your posting will be stored for three years and accessible in the CPARK-L archive. Archive searches rely on the subject line and return an indexed list of messages with matching keywords. Additionally, it is helpful to have a signature block (plain text, of course) that lists your contact information. Subscribers may need clarification on your query to provide a complete answer or suggestion.

Sometimes traffic on the list can get very high, especially when a sensitive subject or one that has wide interest, such as EV charging stations and their operation, is touched upon. If you are getting too many emails, you can select digest mode in your subscription options. This mode provides you with one email a day that contains an indexed listing of the subjects and a link to the string of emails that fall under that topic. It’s easy to scan the list of subjects for that day and click on the topics that interest you.

Things to Know
There are a few rules and things to remember. Corresponding through CPARK-L is very personal. You get the distinct feeling that you are speaking directly to a colleague, but you are not—you are in an auditorium with more than 1,200 parking professionals listening. Anything you post to the list will, theoretically, go to all 1,200 subscribers and be stored in the archives for three years.

Due to a desire to conserve as much server space for the archives, thank-yous and me-toos are not allowed. If you post a query to the list, it is customary to share the information you gather back to the list. This is especially true if you post a short survey, such as a question to the list. Many subscribers will send an email back to you directly and bypass the list, so it is incumbent upon you to summarize and post the findings you receive. If you want to send a thanks or general agreement, send it but send it directly to the individual, not to the list.

Beware the reply key. Depending how your email is configured, when you hit the reply key, you may automatically address your outgoing reply to the whole list. This can be painful and/or humorous all at once. Several years ago, a subscriber was greatly irritated at their child’s day care provider. By an inadvertent use of the reply key, a lengthy rant about day care was opened and read by hundreds of gleeful subscribers. It could have been much worse.

The list uses very simple technology that cannot handle attachments. Take a moment to review your signature block; they often contain graphics such as the city crest or the university mark that will be viewed as attachments and block the posting of your message. On the plus side, attachments are frequently virus vectors, and it is extremely difficult to accidentally download a virus through CPARK-L.

CPARK-L can deal well with hyperlinks to the web. Many times, survey data can be resubmitted to the list via a link to a site. As always, be careful opening attachments from anyone. It is possible that someone could put a link to an infected website onto their posting to CPARK-L.

Internet lists prefer plain text. Plain text is the most universal of all text formats and is usually easily read by email servers. It does not like rich text formats such as HTML or text that contains embedded formatting codes.

Many subscribers of CPARK-L are also members of IPI, and many have earned their CAPP certifications. On the other hand, some have little experience in the profession and are trying to broaden their horizons and create a network of experience to help them succeed. And there are a large number of subscribers with many years (some painful) of experience in the wonderful world of parking.

CPARK-L can be a very powerful research tool. It can be used to refute claims made against your organization or substantiate them. It can be used to garner information on best practices and on what may work in certain situations and not in others. CPARK-L can be used to identify vendors, contractors, consultants, and potential employees.

I hope you subscribe and that you find this list as useful as the rest of us have during the last 21 years. Personally, I am going to take the editor (me) out for a beer and celebrate this momentous birthday.

Douglas Holmes, CAPP, is owner of CPARK-L and interim parking manager, Borough of State College, Pa. He can be reached at wdh1@psu.edu or 814.954.7781.

TPP-2015-03-Invaluable Resource

Boosting Credit Security

TPP-2015-03-Boosting Credit SecurityBy Randy Vanderhoof

The U.S. is more than three years into its migration to Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) chip payments, and 2015 is expected to be a year of great progress. Last year, there were approximately 120 million chip cards in the market, and this number is expected to leap dramatically to 600 million cards (or half the total cards in the market) by the end of 2015. Merchants are preparing too, with some estimates that as many as 50 percent of all payment acceptance terminals in the U.S. will be fully enabled to accept EMV chip cards by the end of the year.

The U.S. parking industry, which generates more than $25–30 billion in gross revenues from its many thousands of parking garages, lots, and on-street parking meters, is one of the larger merchant segments taking on chip implementation projects. Upgrading all of the payment terminals throughout the industry to accept chip cards is not a simple or inexpensive task, but it is one that can help better secure the parking payment infrastructure and prevent fraud losses from counterfeit card fraud and skimming. Read on to learn why 2015 will be the “year of the chip.”

Why Chip and Why Now?
More than 80 countries have already implemented EMV chip payments based on the EMV global standard. The EMV standard defines a set of requirements to ensure interoperability between chip-based payment cards and terminals. Chip cards contain embedded microprocessors (the “chip”) that provide strong transaction security features and other application capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards.

The U.S. is one of the last major economies to adopt chip technology. Chip implementation was initiated in the U.S. market in 2011 and 2012 when American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa announced their roadmaps for supporting an EMV-based payment infrastructure. One of the drivers for this decision is for the U.S. to implement a payment system that is interoperable with the rest of the world. The other major driver? Fraud reduction and prevention.

Deciding to Implement Chip
Making the decision to implement chip acceptance sooner rather than later will benefit parking organizations in two ways: It will protect their payment systems from hackers and skimmers, and it will prevent them from assuming potentially higher fraud losses after Oct. 1, 2015, when the liability for fraudulent card transactions shifts to the party with the least secure technology. Implementing chip is a decision for each individual merchant and card issuer, and while it is not a mandate, those who don’t migrate to chip will absorb resulting losses in the event of fraud.

Chip Security Features

While 2015 is poised to be the “year of the chip,” 2014 was, unfortunately for many, the “year of the data breach.” There were many instances of overseas hackers infiltrating retailer systems and stealing consumers’ payment account data. Why are overseas hackers so interested in U.S. payment card data? It’s because the magnetic stripe payment card data in retailer systems is extremely valuable to hackers; criminals will pay high prices for it because it’s easy to use to create functioning counterfeit payment cards. Magnetic stripe cards are also extremely easy to skim, which has been a problem in the parking industry, particularly for those with unattended payment terminals.

Its reliance on magnetic stripe cards is one of the reasons why the U.S. has increasingly become a target for fraud. The U.S. loses approximately $5 billion a year to fraud, which accounts for about half of global card fraud despite our only generating about a quarter of the total volume of purchases and cash.

EMV chip card data can help combat some of this fraud because it cannot be used to make functioning counterfeit cards. There are three major chip card transaction security features that work to prevent fraudulent transactions:

Microprocessor chip.
Each chip card contains a secure microprocessor chip that stores payment card data placed by the issuer during the personalization process that can perform cryptographic processing during a payment transaction. This payment data is stored securely in the card’s chip and is protected with advanced chip hardware and software security. This helps prevent card skimming and card cloning, which are the most common ways magnetic stripe cards are compromised and used for fraudulent activity.

Authentication. In a chip card transaction, the card is authenticated as being genuine by the issuer or the terminal, and the chip’s processor generates a dynamic data element that is unique for each transaction.

One-time-use cryptogram. Unlike the static code in a magnetic stripe transaction, the chip card uses a one-time- use cryptogram for each transaction. Even if fraudsters are able to steal account data from a chip transaction, the stolen code will have already been used and is therefore invalid. In addition, chip cards do not include other data needed for magnetic stripe transactions, so criminals cannot use the stolen data to make counterfeit magnetic stripe or counterfeit chip transactions.

What this means for the parking industry: For organizations that start accepting chip payments, the data in their systems will become a lot less valuable to hackers. It has been seen in other countries that have migrated to chip technology that hackers will focus their attacks on organizations that still use magnetic stripe data. Skimming operations, too, will become fruitless as consumers increasingly use their chip cards.

October 1 Fraud Liability Shift
The other major factor in the decision to implement chip technology is the upcoming Oct. 1, 2015, fraud liability shift date set by the major payment brands. After Oct. 1, the payment brands will shift the responsibility for counterfeit card transactions to the party with the least secure technology. If neither or both parties involved in the transaction have implemented chip technology, the liability stays with the issuer, as it is today. An example of how this works: If a magnetic stripe off a chip card is copied, made into a counterfeit magnetic stripe card, and used at a parking facility that has not upgraded to accept chip payments, that facility may be responsible for the fraudulent transaction. The goal of the liability shift is to encourage both issuers and merchants to move to chip technology at the same time so that fraud is removed from the system, not shifted from one party to another.

In making the decision on when and if to implement chip technology, parking professionals should strongly weigh implementation costs versus the fraud risks that come with not implementing. Bear in mind that the cost to implement occurs only once, while the fraud losses from not migrating can multiply in years to come.

Change and Choice with Chip
Implementing chip technology within parking facilities will involve replacing hardware and software with EMV-certified offerings, integrating them with existing systems, and undergoing end-to-end testing and certification with each of the payment brands. It also provides many choices that can help them optimize revenues and customers’ payment experience. Two of the key decisions to make include:

Interfaces. The EMV standard supports both contact and contactless chip payments, so a parking facility can choose to accept only contact chip card payments, or both contact and contactless payments. Today, most EMV-certified terminal hardware suppliers sell readers that are equipped to handle contact, contactless, and mobile payments but will require software configured to enable acceptance of the payments. Contactless payments require less maintenance in outdoor environments so may be a good choice for unattended terminals. Contactless chip readers are also compatible with mobile near field communication (NFC) payments, so if a parking facility wants to accept Apple Pay, for example, it can be enabled during the chip implementation project. To future-proof investments, parking facilities should consider purchasing hardware that accepts contact, contactless, and mobile payments, even if they do not immediately enable contactless capabilities with software.

Card Verification Methods (CVMs).
The EMV standards support the use of PINs, signatures, or no CVMs to verify the cardholder in a payment transaction. Unattended machines can be enabled to accept PINs but are required to accept chip transactions with no CVM if the chip card does not support a PIN.

Parking professionals should work with their vendors and payment solution providers to determine what choices make the best sense for their businesses.

The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a more secure payment infrastructure with EMV chip card payments. Chip cards, already deployed in more than 80 countries, have been proven to dramatically reduce counterfeit card fraud and strengthen the payment ecosystem for all stakeholders. For all merchants, including parking professionals, implementing chip is a decision that each organization should make carefully; however not migrating can result in increased susceptibility to hackers and fraud. While moving to chip will introduce fundamental change to the parking payment infrastructure, it also can provide an opportunity for parking professionals to provide more innovative and fast payments to their customers, such as contactless and mobile NFC payments.

Parking professionals are not alone in this migration. There are terminal vendors, payment solutions providers, and industry groups ready and willing to help with migrating systems to chip in the most efficient manner possible. The Smart Card Alliance’s sister organization, the EMV Migration Forum, provides a platform for industry stakeholders to come together and engage with their peers about the most pressing issues facing their migrations. For more information and/or to attend a meeting, visit emv-connection.com.

Randy Vanderhoof is executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. He can be reached at rvanderhoof@smart cardalliance.org.

TPP-2015-03-Boosting Credit Security

Transition Station Goes Green

TPP-2015-03-A Transition Station Goes GreenBy Mark Bolton

Parking structures are open for long hours, sometimes all day and night. Some spaces are infrequently occupied and open to daylight, making additional lighting unnecessary. In addition, energy costs are rising and industry standards (developed by organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers [ASHRAE] and California Title 24) have become more stringent as they apply to building owners and operators. To lower energy consumption to comply with such standards, it is essential to be proactive and make energy-saving decisions that lessen costs and consumption, reduce maintenance, and increase sustainability efforts.

These standards become even more challenging for owners and operators of park-and-ride facilities, where intermittent foot traffic often dictates 24/7 operation and magnifies the need to implement energy-saving practices. Park-and-ride lots help ease commutes by offering a convenient and safe location to transfer from a single-­passenger vehicle or bicycle to a carpool, vanpool, or transit system. Ridesharing or using public transit saves time and money while reducing traffic congestion and energy consumption. In addition to safety and affordability, public transportation saves energy, reduces traffic congestion, helps the environment, and offers benefits for individuals and communities alike. Making these facilities sustainable is important to the preservation of our natural environment.

The Foothill Transit Park & Ride, Industry, Calif., demonstrates one option that uses lighting to help a parking facility successfully meet sustainability goals and save energy while improving safety and visibility.

Parking Structures and Lighting

LED luminaires can be one cost-effective solution that helps achieve sustainability goals and industry standards while providing benefits such as high efficacy and glare reduction for safety and security. LED lighting fixtures present a potential solution for a variety of applications due to their low energy consumption, high efficacy, and longer lamp life, which can reduce maintenance requirements. Estimated LED (L70) lamp life of 150,000 hours is currently available on some parking garage fixtures. This longevity also makes LEDs a possibility in areas that are difficult or costly to maintain, including remote, hard-to-reach, or dangerous locations.

When coupled with control systems that monitor and adjust light levels based on motion and/or daylight, newer-generation lights provide increased energy efficiency in areas that receive intermittent use, including park-and-ride facilities. These lighting control systems can help building owners meet emerging building goals and standards related to energy efficiency.

Use of tax incentives and rebates can further reduce costs and enhance the return on investment. The DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) Qualified Products List (QPL) catalogs products that qualify for efficiency program incentives across the U.S. and Canada. The DLC promotes quality, performance, and energy efficiency in commercial lighting solutions. Visit designlights.org/qpl for more information.

Lighting and Security

Parking facility safety and security is a huge issue; beyond an obvious need to keep users as safe as possible, parking affects the economic viability of a community. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which applies to parking facilities, emphasizes the proper design and effective use of a created environment to reduce crime and enhance quality of life.

The single most important CPTED security feature is lighting. Data suggest sufficient lighting deters crime and produces a more secure atmosphere. In fact, lighting is one of the few facility features that has been documented to reduce crime in parking facilities.

According to Witherspoon Security Consulting, exterior lighting should enable parkers and employees to see individuals at night from a distance of 75 feet or more and to identify a human face from approximately 30 feet. Employees who are working after hours or visitors entering the building at night need to have efficient parking lot illumination so they can safely return to their vehicles.

In addition, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) offers specific standards for determining sufficient light levels for illuminating parking structures and lots to ensure both vehicular and pedestrian safety. These standards can be found in the IES publication RP-20-98.

Increasing Visibility without Glare
When lighting to increase visibility and safety, one must consider the importance of glare, which reduces the contrast of an object against its background and makes it difficult for the eye to perceive depth accurately. Glare is a potential hazard for all drivers, particularly senior citizens and other individuals with weak or impaired vision. Many modern lights are designed to address the issue of glare through specialized optics combined with specially designed lenses. This design addresses glare while maintaining high efficacy and efficiency.

Foothill Transit Park & Ride Facility
The recently constructed $9.9 million Foothill Transit Park & Ride Facility parking structure provides parking for transit customers who choose public transportation to commute into downtown Los Angeles.

This five-level, 216,000-square-foot, 620-car parking structure is Foothill Transit’s first agency-owned park-and-ride facility. The design embraces the materials and themes of the neighborhood while promoting Foothill Transit’s goals of a dynamic visual experience for those entering the city by public transit. The facility offers pedestrian plazas, secure bike lockers for local cyclists, LED lighting, and a large art mural by California artist Hannah Daly that decorates the north and south side of the structure. Future plans include 18 electric vehicle charging stations and rooftop solar panels.

The agency, which provides public transportation for the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys, utilizes park-and-ride lots owned by Caltrans or other cities but wanted to open its own to better serve the needs of Foothill Transit’s customers.

“Increased safety and easy access to public transportation benefits everyone,” says Doug Tessitor, Foothill Transit’s board chair. “Each person on board is one less car on the freeway. And this new Industry Park & Ride makes it possible for all of us to enjoy cleaner air and safer, less congested streets.”

A commitment to sustainability and patrons’ safety was the driving force for installing 249 LED luminaires both in the structure and on the exterior perimeter walls. While no state or federal mandates regulated the lighting technology, management and the board wanted to be innovative while designing an energy-efficient structure.

“We are pleased with the results that include reduced energy consumption than if we installed traditional fixtures. One of our goals is to have low operational expense while improving visibility and safety for anyone using the park-and-ride structure, especially during evening hours,” says Sharlane Bailey, Foothill Transit director of facilities.

The lights were chosen carefully. “We presented a 25-year total life cycle cost analysis showing they could save approximately $1.5 million using the recommended LED luminaires instead of T8 fluorescent fixtures,” explains Kevin Waters, L.A.-based project manager with Walker Parking Consultants.

Foothill Transit has a strong commitment to safety and security, as well as a desire to maintain a pleasant aesthetic look to the structure. Bailey and the board view lighting as an important safety resource in the parking structure, and the installation of LED luminaires reduces its effect on the environment. The luminaires selected provide superior glare control without compromising light levels, helping ensure the safety and security of park-and-ride patrons.

Foothill Transit’s mission statement is to be the premier public transit provider committed to safety, courtesy, quality, responsiveness, efficiency, and innovation. The design of the park-and-ride intentionally incorporates the elements of Foothill Transit’s mission statement.

Sustainability Commitment
Foothill Transit is committed to a sustainable environment and part of its mission statement is innovation. To that end, Foothill Transit has a total fleet of 331 buses, 316 of which are compressed natural gas (CNG) powered, and 15 fast-charge battery electric buses. Additionally, Foothill Transit is the first transit agency in the nation to electrify a bus route; line 291 utilizes nine fast-charge electric buses that serve the cities of Pomona and La Verne, Calif. To reduce GHG emissions, the agency implemented a solar array project at its two operating facilities located in Arcadia and Pomona, Calif. Foothill Transit’s Arcadia facility has developed an environmental and sustainability management system (ESMS) program and is ISO 14001 Certified. Foothill Transit is currently working on having the Pomona Operations and Maintenance facility certified under ISO standards.

Mark Bolton is regional sales manager with Kenall. He can be reached at mbolton@kenall.com or 425.999.0485.

TPP-2015-03-A Transition Station Goes Green

Being Prepared

TPP-2015-03-Being PreparedBy Bruce Barclay, CAPP

This exercise was the culmination of a 10-month process that included a planning team of 35 people from 20 different organizations. In the months prior to the exercise, the planning team worked diligently to solidify objectives and expected actions, confirm extent of play from participating agencies, and make logistic assignments. More than 250 people were involved in the exercise, and more than 1,500 hours were invested by planners, participants, and support personnel to make it a success. The short synopsis presented here provides only a glimpse into the scope of the event; we hope it might help you prepare for unexpected emergencies at your facility.

The Drill

On Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, SLCIA conducted its triennial emergency disaster drill. This drill is conducted in accordance with all Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), including 14 CFR Part 139, 49 CFR Part 1542, and FEMA Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) guidance. In layman’s terms, it is a federally mandated exercise to be held every three years.

The purpose of the drill was to evaluate Salt Lake City International Airport’s ability to respond to disasters. The intent is not only to identify gaps in response but also seek realistic solutions to resolve any identified gaps. A series of exercise objectives and capabilities was planned well in advance of the exercise. Among the objectives for the exercise were:

  • SLCIA and its response personnel will demonstrate their ability to effectively direct and control incident activities using the Incident Command System (ICS), consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • Responders will demonstrate a thorough and systematic approach to assessing and processing victims within the crash site.
  • Responders will conduct scene evaluation, document triage victims, and transport victims from the scene. They will manage a mass casualty incident and save as many lives as possible.
  • SLCIA’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), upon notification of the incident will activate staff and organize the EOC to support field commanders.

The Exercise
Scenario: The crash occurs on Oct. 10, 2014, just after noon. It is a clear day, the wind is calm, it’s a pleasant 82 degrees outside. Air traffic control tower (ATCT) personnel observe an aircraft veering off course while attempting to land on runway 34L. The aircraft’s right wing strikes the ground, and the plane begins to cartwheel. Broken into several pieces, it ultimately comes to rest outside the safety area at the north end of that runway. Smoke and flames engulf the wreckage.
Based on the exercise objectives, the exercise planning team decided to demonstrate the following capabilities during the exercise:

  • Onsite incident command system (ICS).
  • Mass rescue, casualty collection, and triage.
  • Transportation of victims.
  • Emergency operation center (EOC) management.

Initial Notification
Local air traffic control tower personnel (ATCT) notified Salt Lake City Airport Control of the crash immediately after it occurred. For clarification during the exercise, all spoken and written communication started and ended with the statement, “This is an exercise.” ATCT then activated the crash phone, which is a notification alert to aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF), airport police, and airport operations.

The alert informed the first responders of the type and location of the incident and its current condition. In this case, the plane burst into flames on impact. Airport operations and police personnel arrived on the scene and found a crash site strewn across a wide area. ARFF was closely behind with multiple units to combat the fire and provide aid to the victims. Communication from the airport control center to other local agencies allowed for rapid response by local police, fire, and ambulance services.

Emergency Response

As the crisis was unfolding at the end of Runway 34L, airport staff activated the Emergency Operations Center. The event is effectively managed through an ICS structure, keeping the span of control at five to seven and utilizing all available resources through multi-agency coordination. The team members in the EOC immediately began the direction and coordination of response and recovery activities, as well as the coordination of responses from mutual aid partners. One key player in the exercise—and ultimately in a real event—is the public information officer (PIO). The delivery of accurate, timely, and single-source release of information by the PIO to the public is critical. Local television, radio, and print media were on site, all wanting statements on the response and recovery efforts.

Early responders to the scene established an incident command system support structure. The mobile command post was set up at the direction of the incident commander. Airport police set up a perimeter and logged all emergency vehicles entering and exiting the scene. The control of entry and egress points was critical for tracking and reporting vehicle locations, but it also kept any passengers from walking away from the crash site. Several were dazed and in a state of shock and easily could have wandered off.

The Hot Zone
The crash site (hot zone) was in total disarray. The fuselage was split into multiple pieces. The debris field was littered with airplane and body parts, luggage, and personal items from the passengers. First responders and rescue crews worked feverishly to assess injuries. Questions such as, “Can you walk/talk?” were asked of those who were conscious. Non-medical personnel assisted the walking wounded out of the hot zone and to secured areas. Careful accounting for each passenger helped keep an accurate and consistent passenger count.

Field triage was underway in minutes, with red, yellow, and green sections identified. Those in the red triage area were given first priority. Of the six passengers in the red triage area, four were taken to local hospitals. The remaining two were evacuated by helicopter to regional trauma centers.

Casualty collection areas were set up for those in need of transport to local hospitals (yellow triage). Those in the yellow triage area were taken to the collection point and transported via ambulance. Due to the backlog of casualties awaiting transport, the airport’s shuttle bus was dispatched to help transport victims as well. The bus was able to transport seven patients to a local hospital. Quick implementation of the shuttle bus for patient transport proved to be a valuable resource not previously implemented during an incident or exercise. From the airport’s after-action report:

The airport’s cutaway bus was dispatched to transport victims. This vehicle was able to carry seven patients. A paramedic was on the bus to monitor victims during transport, as is protocol.

—Recommendation: Good practice. This seems to be a very good use of equipment and human resources (medical). Consider adding this resource to the checklist/standard operating procedures (SOP) of deployable assets for an MCI event or incident.

Airport shuttle buses are mobilized during certain alerts at SLCIA, generally if it is deemed that an aircraft evacuation may be required. This was the first time a shuttle bus was used in a medical support capacity for an exercise. It proved to be very successful, and will be included in the SOP for implementation in future events.

In this mass-casualty disaster, there are many unexpected events that occur. The planning team attempted to replicate the unexpected and installed a few last-minute glitches to the script:

Attempts to justify the passenger count were a challenge due to conflicting information received from multiple sources. Perseverance by incident command personnel and the airline allowed the passenger count to be 100 percent verified. It was discovered that there were two babes in arms who were not accounted for in the passenger reconciliation.

—Recommendation: Verification of the passenger manifest against passengers recovered should be done as early in the rescue process as possible. Clarify “babes in arms” recording on manifests with airlines.

There was a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) K9 handler on board the aircraft involved in the incident. Although the canine was unharmed, the TSA handler was sent to red triage for immediate care. The canine needed to be secured and held at the airport’s K9 facility until DHS K9 or animal services could take custody of the animal.

—Recommendation: The handling of family pets and service animals in a disaster situation needs to be included in the preparation and training for these events.
The potential for contamination with various materials is a high probability. Decontamination of personnel and equipment becomes necessary.

—Recommendation: Consider adding a decontamination element to every full-scale exercise and event. At a minimum, it should contain gowns, towels, bio-waste bags, gloves, blankets, and other items deemed necessary by hazmat and ARFF personnel.
After the exercise has been deemed complete by the exercise director, analysis and critique are critical and a key component of the exercise.

Hot Wash and After-Action Report
Immediately after the completion of the exercise, a hot wash (roundtable discussion) was held by the exercise controllers to facilitate player feedback about the exercise and their own performance.

The after-action report (AAR) is the culmination of the SLCIA full-scale exercise. It is a written report outlining the strengths and areas for improvement identified during the exercise. It also includes the executive summary and a timeline for the implementation plan.

Terry Craven, CEM, FEP, exercise director and emergency/continuity programs manager for SLCIA, said, “Our full-scale exercise held on Oct. 10th, 2014, was a resounding success. We learned some valuable lessons and have developed an improvement plan to fill the gaps identified.” He continued, “These exercises are not just a checkmark in a box to fulfill a federal requirement. They are a golden opportunity to practice with all of the responders, agencies, companies and others who would be involved during a real event. The willingness of the entire Salt Lake Valley’s response agencies to consistently support our triennial exercises exemplifies their dedication to life safety and their recognition of the value in getting to know the people who will have your back when the situation turns critical.”

Bruce Barclay, CAPP, is operations manager, parking, at the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. He can be reached at bruce.barclay@slcgov.com or 801.575.2530.

TPP-2015-03-Being Prepared

Legal Updates

TPP-2015-03-Legal UpdatesBy Leonard T. Bier, JD, CAPP

Since 2011, this column has addressed actual and hypothetical legal issues based on new state and federal laws, employment situations, parker conduct, and litigation that affects the operation of public and private sector parking operations. Here, we review some subjects we’ve covered and bring our readers up-to-date on past topics.

Disabled Parking Payment
One of the earliest topics we covered was a disabled lawyer who displayed a New Jersey disabled placard but received two overtime parking tickets for failure to pay the parking meters in front of the county courthouse. He challenged the legality of the tickets in the New Brunswick, N.J., municipal court. At the time the original column was published, all parties were waiting for the municipal court judge’s verdict.

Much to the surprise of the parking authority (and me), the municipal court judge sided with the disabled attorney and dismissed the overtime summons. The attorney, after receiving a transcript of the municipal court judge’s decision in his favor, later made a written demand that all signage in the City of New Brunswick that directed disabled parkers to pay on- and off-street parking meters be removed. While the parking authority was evaluating his request, he filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the authority failed to actively negotiate with him as an accommodation under federal ADA law.

Research for the federal case revealed that a municipal court judge’s legal opinion was nonbinding except for the specific matter before the municipal court and had no precedential value. Consequently, the disabled attorney could not claim disabled discrimination under the ADA on behalf of all other disabled parkers. In addition, it was discovered that the current State of New Jersey Disabled Parking Guide, Edition 2, had been amended to specifically state that disabled parkers must pay the maximum time allowed by the parking meter before the 24-hour grace period for disabled parkers went into effect.

The federal case was settled based on the municipal court judge’s ruling that the summons was improperly issued. The disabled attorney was issued a special citywide parking pass that allowed him to park at on- and off-street meters without paying the meter fee.

Saving Spaces
The April 2013 column, “Save Me A Parking Space,” discussed the practice of putting chairs, traffic cones, and other objects in parking spaces that were shoveled out after a snowstorm in an informal reservations system. One of the cities mentioned was Boston, where the mayor, by executive order, had allowed residents to save parking spaces 48 hours after a snow emergency. As of January 2015, the South Ward of Boston ended its longstanding custom of allowing a parking space to be saved after a snowstorm and passed an ordinance prohibiting the practice.

Robin Hoods
The August 2013 column, “Robin Hoods or Hoodlums,” covered an interesting situation in Keene, N.H. Parking anarchists or libertarians, depending on your viewpoint, were following parking enforcement officers (PEOs), videotaping the PEOs, verbally harassing them, and putting coins in expired meters before the officers could write overtime parking tickets. The city sued the Robin Hoods in civil court for tortuous interference with the city’s business relationship with their employees for creating a hostile work environment. The superior court judge refused to issue a restraining order and questioned the city’s legal basis for filing the suit. The city appealed to the state supreme court, which heard oral arguments in October 2014 and has yet to issue its opinion. “The Colbert Report” did a fascinating video regarding this case entitled, “Difference Makers—the Free Keene Squad,” which can be found online at comedycentral.com and is well worth watching.

Pot on the Job
The March 2014 column, “Pot On The Job,” reviewed emerging legalization of medical and recreational marijuana and addressed the need for employers to address this issue in their handbooks and employment policies. Shortly after, a Princeton University dining hall manager was suspended for using medical marijuana. The case attracted major television, print, and online media attention. At this time, no lawsuit has been filed by the employee.

Leonard T. Bier, JD, CAPP, is the principal of Bier Associates. He can be reached at lenbier@optonline.net or 732.828.8864.

TPP-2015-03-Legal Updates

Marketing Green Parking in the Social Media Age

TPP-2015-03-Marketing Green Parking in the Social Media AgeBy Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C

The year 2015 will be a pivotal milestone in the history (and future) of green and sustainable parking. At the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, June 29–July 2, IPI and the Green Parking Council (GPC, an affiliate of IPI) will present the first class of certified green garages. This, coupled with the newly-minted partnership between IPI, GPC, and the U.S. Green Building Council, will bring the idea of sustainability and parking to thousands of institutions, corporations, government entities, transit agencies, and others across the U.S. and beyond. This year will be one of the most transformative and impactful in the green parking era and will help set the stage for the future of the parking industry as a whole.

Far less notable this year is my transition to chair of the GPC’s marketing committee. I am excited to work with the GPC and our great committee to use our marketing skills and the many resources available today to showcase the exciting advancements being made in this segment of our industry. That said, I also want to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor, Carolyn Scharte, for the amazing job she has done leading the marketing committee through these past few transformative years of the GPC.

Committee Goals

In addition to recognizing the pioneering companies and owners who will certify their parking facilities through the Green Garage Certification program, the GPC and its marketing committee will continue to promote the latest trends, technologies, and advancements in green parking through social media, blogs, webinars, and whatever new media may present itself in the near future (or even tomorrow). We are in the process of developing an ambitious marketing plan that will allow us to continue to keep those within and, as importantly, those outside of the parking industry informed while providing a forum for people to interact with each other and share their ideas.

Getting Social
One of the most important formats for sharing and communicating will be through social media. For a supposed “Millennial,” my relationship with social media to date has involved little more than the fact that I have a Facebook page that I occasionally update with complaints about fellow airline passengers, photos from wherever I happen to have traveled to that week, and articles about the greatness of Nebraska football. However, it is no secret that social media will continue to be one of, if not the single, most important formats for sharing information, and this will continue to increase as my generation moves into management and decision-making positions.

Social media and other online portals give us a forum to present new thoughts and showcase groundbreaking concepts and projects, while providing a faster and more convenient channel to communicate with each other and continue to learn together. That said, I invite you all to follow the GPC on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, subscribe to our blog, read our newsletter, and interact with us using these platforms so we can all continue to learn from each other. Tell us what you are working on; tell us what you think about the news and information we provide; challenge us; and take advantage of the amazing opportunities we have living in the 21st century to use technology and information sharing to move our industry forward.

This is going to be a great year for many reasons. I am excited to talk with all of you both in person and through these important mediums to continue to educate ourselves, learn from each other, and identify opportunities to continue to bring recognition to sustainable parking and the parking industry.

Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C, is director of corporate development for Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc., and a member of IPI’s Sustainability Committee. She can be reached at mleinart@timhaahs.com or 484.342.0200.

TPP-2015-03-Marketing Green Parking in the Social Media Age

Benefits of an Integrated Life Cycle

TPP-2015-03-Benefits of an Integrated Life CycleBy Jeremy Rocha, PE

It’s just a garage. Most parking consultants have heard that statement too many times to count. As members of the parking industry, we know parking shouldn’t be an afterthought or mere code requirement. We also understand that the parking experience offers the first and last impression of a city, campus, or property.

So how do we move parking up the pecking order in relation to other project elements? How do we transform parking from a necessity to an asset? From an operational burden to a revenue stream? In other words, how do we deliver a great garage that meets all user, owner, and stakeholder expectations? To do all of that, we must start implementing an integrated life cycle approach to parking design and thinking.

Traditional parking consulting services consist mostly of programming and schematic design, with little involvement in the construction and operational phases of the project. Parking professionals need to be involved in all phases because we understand that most capital is spent during the operational phase of the parking facility’s life.

Cost Breakdown
In simple and very broad terms, a parking facility’s first expenses (planning, design and construction) typically account for around 10 percent of the total project cost, while the remaining 90 percent goes to operating costs (maintenance, equipment, energy). What this means is that these first-cost decisions have a tremendous effect on the garage’s bottom line and the owner’s return on investment (ROI).

Understanding the specific design and construction measures that will produce the safest, most efficient, and highest-performing structures is critical to maximizing ROI. Traditional parking consulting services can’t address all of those factors.

The integrated life cycle approach relies on the diversity and strengths of the parking consulting partner—a partner with experience in all design and operational aspects of parking consulting. Some of the tangible advantages can include:

  • Customized parking design specific to the behaviors and trends of users.
  • Optimized structural grids for the garage.
  • Durability-focused design that increases facility longevity and ROI.
  • Optimal circulation within and around the parking facility that accommodates multiple modes of transportation and
  • integrates appropriate technology.

Building a Team

What we need to explain to all project stakeholders is that it takes a comprehensive team to deliver an integrated life cycle approach and can yield:

  • Increased revenue.
  • Decreased operating costs.
  • Improved safety, functionality, and ­convenience.
  • Extended service life.

A recently opened U.S. parking structure is a prime example of how the integrated life cycle approach can directly affect the delivery and design of garage. Early involvement allowed the understanding of owner, operator, and user needs. As a result, spatial efficiencies in the design (eliminating a basement level) and logistical efficiencies in the sequencing of construction (to help minimize construction delays due to harsh weather conditions) were made.
A life cycle cost analysis identified design elements that would yield low maintenance and high performance. Implementing the approach reduced upfront costs by $3 million, reduced operating costs through $3.6 million in energy savings, and extended the garage’s service life by 37 years.

This isn’t to say that all projects will be perfect examples of this approach. However, owners generally appreciate and welcome the benefits of an integrated life cycle approach that focuses on each project design element as seen through the eyes of the users and operators.

As parking consultants, we know parking is often the first and last impression of the facility and is instrumental in spurring development. To us, it’s not just a garage. It’s an investment. The integrated life cycle approach meets the challenge of transforming parking to an asset and not an afterthought.

Jeremy Rocha, PE, is senior associate with WALTER P MOORE and a member of IPI’s Consultants Committee. He can be reached at jrocha@walterpmoore.com or 713.630.7494.

TPP-2015-03-Benefits of an Integrated Life Cycle