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Industry News

The Austrian traffic technology group Swarco AG has acquired the British APT Group, creating one of the largest traffic and parking management systems businesses in Europe. In a deal signed May 7 by Founder and Owner Manfred Swarovski Swarco purchased 100% of the shares of the APT Group, comprising APT Security Systems, APT Skidata, APT Street Services, APT Technologies, SignPost Solutions and ParkingPal. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Stentofon, a Zenitel AS brand of security and safety communication systems, has announced a partnership with Skidata, a leader in the access solutions and visitor management. Stentofon audio communication solutions are used in Skidata parking devices for bi-directional communication between operators and customers.
In other news, Zenitel also has decided that Exigo, its latest development in advanced IP public address and alarm systems – “initially produced for the extreme marine, offshore, and oil and gas environments” – will be introduced to onshore markets as well.

HID Global, a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions, recently announced that its World Headquarters and North American Operations Center in Austin has been honored by the Austin Business Journal in its 15th annual Commercial Real Estate Awards competition.  Recognized in the industrial development category, the facility was formally opened in January, and when completed in 2015, will be the company’s largest facility in the region.

The Marlyn Group, a parking services consultancy that provides uDrive, a proprietary, customizable best-practices online resource for private and public organizations, has launched its newly revamped uDrive website. The redesign offers customers enhanced features and functions that will improve their user experience.
Carl Walker Inc., a nationally recognized consultant in the parking industry, has been retained by the City of Grand Rapids, MI, and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) to explore the feasibility of underground parking in the South Arena District, an area currently occupied by four publicly owned surface parking lots. The study, the firm’s April 2014 newsletter says, will help the city, DGRI and developers decide whether the anticipated higher financial re­turns and improved downtown experience for pedestrians will justify the added cost of underground parking.

SMC Software, a subsidiary of Smart Marketing Concepts and a leading provider of centralized reservations technology for the parking industry, will sponsor its third client conference Sept. 14-16 at the Marriott Courtyard Nashville (TN) Airport hotel. The Parking Technology and Marketing Forum will be organized by eMarketing 24/7 Inc. For more information, go to http://emarketing247.com/forum. In other news, the company has successfully deployed a new informational website for parking at the Port of Galveston (TX). It’s designed to “improve communication with customers … through an interactive web experience featuring videos, social networking sites and a real-time reservations system.”

The City of Deerfield Beach, FL, wanted to overhaul its parking operation. The 800-space system utilized mostly individual, coin-operated, pay-and-display meters and annual permits for residents. After extensive research, it issued an RFP for a parking revenue collection and enforcement system using pay-by-plate and license-plate recognition technology. The winning vendor team comprised Cale America, Bytewise Solutions and gtechna. The rollout is planned to start this month.

Sweden-based Cale Group has appointed Andreas Jansson, its Director of Product Management, as the new Managing Director of its largest subsidiary, Cale America. The announcement – from Cale Group CEO Henrik Mella, Cale America President Edward Olender and General Manager Jeff Nethery – came as a strategic move designed “to improve the company’s rapidly growing customer base in the U.S. market.”

The ABB Terra 23/53 range of electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers has successfully passed the European certification process for DC fast chargers through Applus Idiada. The multi-standard chargers are the industry’s first compliant with CHAdeMO 1.0, the CE standard and new industry guidelines for multi standard fast EV chargers.

Thomas Brown, a Principal Planner with NelsonNygaard for more than a decade, has taken over management of its New York office. This comes in addition to his duties as “one of the leaders of the firm’s parking practice,” said President and COO Paul Jewel. Also, Larry Gould, a veteran of NYC Transit, has joined the firm as a Principal bringing “his expertise in rail planning and operations to our growing public transit practice.”

UK-based ParkCloud, a global provider of carpark reservation systems and online marketing services, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2014, in the category of International Trade. The awards are considered the most prestigious accolades for UK businesses. The company was awarded the honor in respect to its international growth of more than 400% over the last three years. Operating in more than 35 countries worldwide, ParkCloud works with more than 800 parking providers.

Within 36 hours of its launch in early April, nearly 1,000 drivers reportedly had signed up for ParkChicago, a new app that gives motorists in Chicago the option to pay for metered street parking with a mobile phone. Powered by PassportParking, the pay-by-cell app is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s renegotiated 75-year contract between the city and Chicago Parking Meters, the largest metered parking system in the U.S. that’s privately operated under a concession agreement.

McMahon Associates, a full-service transportation engineering and planning firm with more than 38 years of service, has announced the addition of Simon Lewis as Product Specialist for Traisr by McMahon, its all-in-one, web-based GIS asset and infrastructure management suite. Lewis is recognized as a national authority on transportation information systems and asset management systems.

After a “fulfilling and challenging” career at Walker Parking Consultants that spanned nearly 34 years, Tom Butcher retired from regular employment on May 1. “I am amazed that the time has passed so quickly,” he said. “Together, we have done good work, planned and designed remarkable projects, and made many great friends. … So that I don’t suffer complete shock from withdrawal, I am pleased that Walker has asked me to remain involved on a part-time basis. …”

The Consulting Engineers Group (CEG) has been selected to be part of the consulting pool for the City of Minneapolis Public Works Department. In effect for the next three years, this contract allows the firm to serve the PWD’s Traffic and Parking Services Division on an on-call basis for all parking management and operations issues. The Minnesota office of CEG will provide primary support of this new contract.

 

Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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