Philadelphia Parking Authority

About Philadelphia Parking Authority
The Philadelphia Parking Authority is an integral part of the City’s efforts to provide an efficient, well-organized transportation system that serves the needs of the public and encourages economic development. As such, their responsibilities range from managing parking and related traffic management programs on the streets of Philadelphia, to building and operating parking lots and garages.

Executive Summary
In November 2003, the Philadelphia Parking Authority engaged Parkway to integrate the self service, “Pay on Foot” system they purchased for their 10th & Ludlow garage in Center City Philadelphia into their operation. Parkway's familiarity with this particular system and our expertise gained through integrating more than 20 systems into our own organization made us uniquely qualified for the challenge.

Business Challenge
While parking revenue control and system access vendors are extremely knowledgeable of their products, unless the customer has significant experience integrating these high tech systems into existing “back office” processes, the investment is jeopardized. Someone has to be able to bridge the new “front line” system functionality to the customer organization's “back office”. This affects many organizational and process elements including operations, accounting, loss prevention, reporting, and cash handling.

The Solution
Parkway brought significant field automation experience to bear in assisting Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) with implementing their pay-on-foot system. Having installed more than 20 pay-on-foot systems developed by five different vendors in four different markets, we have learned the secrets of getting the most from parking technology investments. Through close working relationships with the pay-on-foot system vendors, we advised the PPA on requirements for new and modified functionality, thereby improving the base product offering for the PPA's benefit. Then, through solid process engineering, we determined how to best configure and utilize the system to meet the needs of the PPA. Close management during the first months of operation ensured that any shortcomings were quickly identified and overcome. The net result is a solid installation that meets the PPA's back office needs and provides the PPA with a substantial return on investment.

Value and Benefits Delivered
The conversion of a cashiered location such as this, to a customer self service payment system brings four major benefits. (1) Payroll-expenses are typically reduced by 50% or more. Staffing is converted from cashiers to customer service functions, with only minimal management needed. (2) The increase in realized revenues that result from more robust revenue control processes afforded by these systems can be 5-15% or more, depending upon efficacy of pre-automation revenue control. (3) Customers tend to prefer self service payment systems over cashiered methods by three or more to one. In fact, customers are frequently drawn to these automated locations on this basis alone. (4) Automated systems generate data that can be used to better manage operations.