Short Parking Stories


Short Parking Stories

Cutting-edge technology to block parking freeloaders

The LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is using cutting-edge technology to reclaim its Park & Ride spaces for transit riders. The transport giant, with its1,433-square-mile service area, is linking its new parking operation to its transit TAP card to keep parking spaces for commuters using the network, rather than non-transit users taking parking resources to avoid paying up to $5 an hour for parking elsewhere.

Global Parking Solutions (GPS), part of the Linfox Armaguard Group, one of Australia’s largest privately held companies, has responded with its pay-by-plate system.

But Philadelphia-based GPS took it further to produce a smart meter that links parking to the use of Metro’s transit access program (TAP) card; remembers transit riders’ license plates; and blocks non-transit users. The solar-powered meters also give change to cash-users.

“We had a unique and specific set of requirements,” said Frank Ching, Senior Director of Countrywide Parking Management for Metro. “GPS was the only company that listened and entertained the possibility of what we were trying to achieve.

“GPS essentially custom-built a meter based on our requirements,” Ching said. “They did what they said they would do, even before any commitment from us to buy anything from them.”

GPS Global Sales and Marketing Manager Dion Knill said the whole aim of the exercise was to get maximum parking and to serve transit riders.

“Like in a lot of big cities around the world, Metro wants to get people out of their cars and on to public transport,” he said.

It works like this:

• Vehicle enters the lot and its license plate is captured by the Genetec ALPR and its AutoVu Free-Flow management system, and a grace period begins.

• User pays at the paystation or a valid permit is found in the permit database, and the plate parking expiry time is sent to Free-Flow.

• GPS system then queries the Metro travel system, and if the user does not travel within a set time, a citation is issued.

• When the vehicle exits, the plate is captured by the ALPR camera and removed from the Free-Flow parked-vehicles list.

• If no valid plate is found in the permit system and no payment is made, the plate is flagged to the Freeflow system and a violation flagged.

The “elegance of the solution” extends to the stainless steel and aluminum meter machine itself, which is solar- and battery-powered; has a minimal footprint; communicates its status in real-time; and will accept payment in bills (and give change), credit cards and proximity cards; and via mobile phones.

[Sources: Global Parking Solutions, Metro]


Sentry Brings ‘Frictionless’ Parking to UNC-C

With the addition of a new package of advanced frictionless parking technologies, parking on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC-C) got easier and more convenient this fall for students, staff, faculty and visitors.

Skidata subsidiary Sentry Control Systems, a leading provider of parking technology, created and installed the groundbreaking technology suite, which includes EMV-compliant payment terminals, Skidata LPR technology and management software, and reservation technology.

“This ‘frictionless’ parking suite provides an extraordinarily convenient parking experience,” said Blair Taylor, Vice President of Sentry Control Systems. “With the installation of these technologies, UNC Charlotte becomes one of the first universities in the U.S. to offer frictionless parking to students, staff, faculty, and visitors.”

The UNC Charlotte suite is designed to offer more convenient permit-less parking and mobile payment options. Through the system, virtual parking permits are linked to license plates, eliminating the need for physical parking permits or placards.

Instead of having to visit the university parking office to purchase a permit, visitors, students, faculty and staff can access the new system’s web portal to obtain a virtual permit and manage their accounts online.

The technology suite also includes installation of state-of-the-art Skidata PARC system to manage 60 entry and exit lanes serving both hourly and permit parkers. The EMV-compliant pay-on-foot equipment also provides a more secure payment option.

[Source: Sentry Control Systems]


McCarthy Completes UA Stadium Parking Garage

McCarthy Building Cos. completed construction in late summer on the highly anticipated, $22 million South Stadium Parking Structure at the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson.

The five-level, 282,000-square-foot garage has 915 parking spaces, restoring those that had been used for campus development of new residence halls, athletic/recreation areas, and other buildings on the southern part of campus.

The new garage is south of 6th Street, near student housing and athletic facilities. Last semester, for the first time in a decade, the university sold all available on-campus parking permits, making the opening of this garage very timely. 

“Parking & Transportation Services’ goal is to maintain the number parking spaces on campus,” said David Heineking, its Executive Director. “This strategically placed parking garage will help with traffic on regular school days and at athletic events, because it is close to arterial streets on the perimeter of campus.  [Adding] this structure to our parking inventory is a much needed resource for students, staff, faculty, and visitors to campus.” 

The project was completed in August 2017, designed to coincide with the start of the fall semester at the UA.

[Source: McCarthy Building Cos.]

Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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