Municipalities find themselves in a bind. According to a friend in the Northeast, his city’s enforcement and collections are a hodgepodge of pay and display, meters, hand helds, and two or three different back office software packages. He now wants to add pay by cell phone to the mix. He says that the cell phone companies are working with this software and hardware vendors but “aren’t there” yet.
Fair enough. But what does one do in the mean time and who wants to be the “alpha site.” Chicago took an interesting approach, but for a different reason. I went in to detail about this below, but suffice it to say that they didn’t want to change their enforcement procedures at all. So they didn’t. They added a pay by cell phone operation that works off an “in car meter.”
This way, you (the city) do nothing. You continue as you have been. It’s a “bridge” technology. You use it until something better comes along, or until it proves to be the way to go.
Is this perfect – of course not. Nothing is. But is can get past some of the problems and expense of having to re invent your back office or replace tons of on street equipment.
Ok, you cell phone guys, let me have it…