City of Tampa’s Parking Division Finds Innovation, Success During Rapid Growth


City of Tampa’s Parking Division Finds Innovation, Success During Rapid Growth

The City of Tampa is the third largest city in the State of Florida with an estimated population of 387,037. From 2010 to 2020, Tampa’s population saw rapid growth of nearly 30 percent, with tourism to the city seeing growth as well. In 2018 alone, nearly 24 million people visited the Tampa/Hillsborough County area. 

These factors created a unique challenge for the City of Tampa’s Parking Division. Thankfully, with the customer experience in mind and utilizing advanced technology, the robust and forward-thinking team is well equipped to address the challenges ahead.

Implementing New Systems

To meet the dynamic needs of its residents and visitors to Tampa, the parking division has several large-scale projects that are ongoing or planned for the near future. One of those projects is the implementation of an Automated Parking Guidance System (APGS) in all city-owned public garages. 

Another ongoing project is Parking Access and Revenue Control Systems (PARCS). The division is also leading the city’s first ever Parking Master Plan and has initiated the expansion of public electric vehicle (EV) charging opportunities throughout the city. Other projects include establishing the division’s first dedicated urban, transportation and parking planner position, expanding operations and expanding payment options through a multi-app environment.

Since joining the team in September of 2019, Fed Revolte, the city’s Parking Division Manager, has taken a highly progressive approach to improving the Division and addressing new challenges. One of his first enhancements was to upgrade the outdated PARCS in the city garages. Revolte made major improvements with the implementation of frictionless parking in two of the city’s highly transient and special event driven garages. 

With this upgrade, customers are no longer required to stop at the entrance of the garage to retrieve a ticket. The frictionless entry provides ease of access for customers to simply drive in, park and pay. Customers now use touchless mobile payment apps or one of several pay stations located throughout the garages. 

Another feature of this frictionless system is the ability to alternate the multiple garage entrance and exit lanes to address heavier directional traffic flows at peak times during the day (i.e., more entrance lanes during the morning hours and more exit lanes during evening hours).

Creating a Master Plan

One of the ongoing projects, and the first of its kind for Tampa, is the development of a Parking Master Plan. This plan will provide the city with recommendations and an implementation guide for the next ten years. Several goals of the plan include: utilizing best practices in parking management, identifying existing utilization rates, and a strategy for how to ensure effective use of all parking assets. The plan will identify methods to structure parking staff and operations and it will identify strategies and opportunities to coordinate more efficiently and effectively with inter-governmental partners. 

Customers now use touchless mobile payment apps or one of several pay stations located throughout the garages.

Additionally, the plan will review city parking ordinances to provide recommendations and enhancements, provide technological improvement recommendations and provide a detailed financial implementation plan to ensure feasibility and productivity for the future.

The City of Tampa is guided by Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow (T3) initiatives. The Parking Division’s guiding principle identified through the T3 initiative is to “Reinvent Urban Parking & Mobility.” 

To align with this goal, the Parking Division is looking to expand its existing EV charging opportunities. Presently, there are 10 EV chargers each with two ports (20 charging ports in total), spread between the city’s eight public garages. Through this planned expansion, the division is hoping to install 10 additional publicly accessible chargers along with an enhanced user interface to improve customer experience and ease of parking. 

Adding Automated Guidance

Another anticipated goal set to meet the mayor’s T3 initiative is the implementation of an Automated Parking Guidance System (APGS) within Tampa’s public garages. This system aims to improve traffic flow by quickly and easily directing customers to the nearest available stall. 

Through stall identification, this system looks for: open space, EV charging space, disabled space, reserved space, etc. decreasing a driver’s time spent cruising on street looking for an open parking space. Utilization of this technology will reduce fuel emissions and improve the overall customer experience. 

This project will feature dynamic display boards at the entrances of each garage showing space availability and type, as well as wayfinding signage on each floor quickly directing drivers to the nearest designated parking space. The city is also excited about the lost vehicle locator feature of the APGS system which allows a customer to input their license plate number or ticket number at a kiosk in the garage or via mobile app to locate where their vehicle is parked within the garage. 

The APGS will serve as both surveillance and security enhancement, with the goal of providing a safer and more convenient option for drivers. 

Defining Key Personnel

As the City of Tampa and its Parking Division are quickly growing, Revolte decided to take a highly progressive step towards creating a new urban, transportation and parking planning position within the city and division. The Parking Planning Coordinator (PPC) position is responsible for the coordination of parking and mobility elements within the City’s Comprehensive and Mobility Plan. 

Responsibilities of this position include the monitoring of plan elements and periodic evaluation and appraisal of plans with subsequent updates and amendments. The PPC also oversees and coordinates with staff of intergovernmental organizations regarding planning projects such as the development of commercial and neighborhood development plans. 

One of the most important roles of the PPC is overseeing the development of the city’s first Parking Master Plan, its implementation and all subsequent updates.

Preparing for Growth and Success

In the face of the rapid growth within Tampa, Revolte is spearheading progressive change within the Parking Division to ensure the needs of residents and visitors are met. Along with these changes, Revolte is advancing the footprint of the Parking Division through collaboration and coordination with intergovernmental organizations and key local business stakeholders. 

Through the upgrades of the parking infrastructure, expansion of the division’s assets, and on-boarding of progressive and forward-thinking new team members, Revolte is positioning the division for exponential growth and success in the future, all while creating an efficient, easy-to-utilize and customer-centric parking experience for the city’s visitors and residents.

Austin Britt Parking Planning Coordinator, city of Tampa. He can be reached at 

Article contributed by:
Austin Britt
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