Short Parking Stories
Laz Parking Acquires LA Icon Valet Parking Service
Laz Parking has officially welcomed to its family Valet Parking Services (VPS), the company that established the valet industry in LA. Laz has merged its LA operations with VPS.
“My partners and I are thrilled to have VPS join the Laz family,” said Co-Founder Michael Harth, its Chief Culture Officer. “Herb Citrin founded VPS in 1946, and served as a role model for not only [us], but for the entire industry in terms of integrity and innovation.
“Tony Policella, the current owner of VPS, and his team are a perfect fit for Laz, Harth said, “and we are honored to carry forth their tradition as one of the oldest and most recognized parking companies in the LA market.”
When the pioneering Citrin joined the parking business with his father in 1946, he started with a single client, Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills.
As a visionary, Herb Citrin set a new, more professional standard for all valets, introducing white-glove service and the red vest, black tie uniforms that have become a staple. With more than 60 locations and 425 employees, VPS is “truly a trusted brand in the parking industry.”
Harth said, “Herb’s simple motto, ‘Give us your car, we get it back to you safely,’ as well as his high regard for the profession and respect for his clients, lives on in the company.” Harth said he saw Citrin as a mentor, and plans to ensure these values are embraced in Herb’s memory.
Herb Citrin, who died in 2013, is known as the “Father of Valet.” He made the profession more widespread in LA and helped shape the industry. The National Parking Association awards the Herb Citrin Trophy at its annual National Valet Olympics.
VPS remains “one of the top valet providers in LA” and continues to serve Lawry’s, in addition to high-profile venues such as the Oscars, the five-star Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel and Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s first restaurant.
[Source: Laz Parking]
Ace Enters Vegas Market With Caesars Entertainment Partnership
Ace Parking, a privately-held, nationwide parking management company, has been selected by Caesars Entertainment Corp., the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment provider, to implement and manage a paid parking model for valet and self-parking functions at eight of its properties on the Las Vegas Strip:
The scope of its partnership, the company said, will include team member recruiting and training, revenue collection and auditing, maintenance, and call center support, among other services.
“Ace Parking is humbled and excited to partner with Caesars Entertainment on this initiative,” said Keith B. Jones, third-generation Owner and Managing Partner. “Our main goal will be to ensure we bring our parking knowledge and passion to build upon the incredible product that Caesars currently delivers to its guests.
“By focusing on strong team member values and technology integration, and creating a positive guest experience, we will be successful in achieving the key objectives for this partnership,” Jones said.
Bob Morse, President of Hospitality at Caesars Entertainment, said, “As the Las Vegas market continues to evolve and provide an enhanced parking experience, Caesars has decided to implement a paid parking model.
“For this transition, we believe Ace Parking is the ideal partner,” he said, “because of its proven ability to successfully manage employee needs, customer expectations and client goals. They are truly experts in their field.”
The properties are Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, The Cromwell Las Vegas, The LINQ, Paris Las Vegas, and Planet Hollywood.
[Sources: Ace Parking, Caesars Entertainment Corp.]
Vimoc Launches IoT Platform, AI for Parking Management in CA City
Vimoc Technologies has completed delivery and integration of its platform for parking and automated building management in Redwood City, CA, enabling vehicle detection, superior accuracy in occupancy counting and reporting, and enhanced revenue optimization in two multi-story parking garages.
The solution uses Vimoc’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform and the Rosella Embedded Predictive Modeling module and artificial intelligence (AI) framework to “observe, model and identify patterns for improved utilization of the city’s parking infrastructure,” the company said.
The Rosella application programming interface (API) and user interface (UI) also “enable developers to build apps and reporting tools for both [private] and government transportation managers. By using a simple interface, garage operators can create and post customized messages on digital signage and control other third-party mobile parking apps through its open platform.”
Traditional magnetic loops are embedded in concrete and asphalt and used in garages to detect vehicles as they pass. The Vimoc solution virtualizes the magnetic loop by using image sensors that capture data on an intelligent computing edge device called the neuBox.
These data are then used to calculate the number of available parking spaces in the garage and send that information in real-time to high-resolution, color LED signs mounted in the garage and on the street. The historical data can then be used to predict future parking behaviors and recommend changes required for improved utilization and labor costs.
[Source: Vimoc Technologies]
Designa Awarded Contract by Port Authority of NY and NJ
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has awarded a $70 million-plus contract to Designa Access Corp. to install new vehicular parking access and revenue control systems (PARCS) at four airports under its jurisdiction: John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Stewart International Airport.
Global CEO Thomas Waibel said, “[Our] participation in the world’s largest PARCS project shows that we are a global technology leader, and that our people and systems make the difference.”
Robert J. Kane, President of North America Operations, added: “We are excited by the opportunity to work with The Port Authority in delivering a world-class solution to a world-class organization.”
“The backbone of this enterprise solution,” the company said, “will be [our] Abacus technology, which has been successfully installed at numerous high-profile International airports worldwide.”
In the recent years, this includes, for example, the Sydney, Frankfurt and Dublin airports. Lately, Designa deployed its Abacus solution at Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, AR.
[Source: Designa Access Corp.]
Smarking, Downtowner Partner on Demand Management
Smarking Inc., the parking industry’s leading provider of data analytics software, and Downtowner App Inc., a free on-demand electric ride-sharing service, have partnered, hoping “to empower their mutual client bases with the data to understand when and where parking congestion is at its worse; and to work to incorporate alternative transportation methods to help relieve that congestion.”
Smarking has developed the industry’s first business intelligence platform. By integrating transaction level data from parking systems (meters, paystations, mobile payments and others) “into a single easy-to-use interface, the software calculates meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time, including: occupancy, revenue, number of transactions and parking durations for all parking facilities regardless of parking revenue control system.”
Clients are able to use the software to gain a detailed understanding of how demand interacts with their available inventory, and “to craft smarter parking policies around those dynamics,” Smarking said.
The two companies are already working together in Aspen, CO, where Director of Parking Mitch Osur has been able to leverage them to implement a “holistic travel demand management plan” to address congestion in downtown.
“[This] has given me valuable insight into my parking data,” he said. “Being able to get data daily, especially occupancy and turnover, has changed the way we manage parking in Aspen. Some of the information really opened my eyes to new ideas, particularly the role of ‘micro transit.’ Because of that information, we implemented Downtowner’s electric shuttle service this summer, and it [was] well-received by both locals and tourists,” Osur said.
Park Tucson Wins 2016 MPA ‘Common Ground’ Award
Park Tucson, the city’s parking division, received a 2016 Common Ground Award from the Metropolitan Pima (County) Alliance (MPA) at its 12th annual Common Ground Awards ceremony late last year.
The awards recognize community leaders, development projects and special programs that succeed by overcoming great obstacles through collaboration.
Park Tucson collaborated with a host of organizations, neighborhoods, businesses and individuals to “improve and communicate the availability, convenience and value of city-managed parking in Tucson’s urban center; to become more financially sustainable; and to enforce parking regulations in a manner that complements and supports Downtown’s economic resurgence and growing popularity.”
Among other things, Park Tucson:
Overhauled the PARC systems at its five public garages, creating a simplified, more convenient and customer-oriented garage parking system.
Replaced outdated coin-only parking meters in the Downtown and University/Main Gate areas with “smart” meters, powered by the sun, that communicate with a computerized central management system and allow customers multiple means of payment, including the new GoTucson app.
Collaborated with Sun Link and Sun Tran to expand the payment app to include streetcar and bus fare purchases. It’s the first app in the world to allow customers to pay for both parking and transit.
Collaborated with the city’s Finance and Information Technology departments and City Court to implement a new hardware and software enforcement system that allows the division to collect fines through multiple payment options. This new system also contributed to “the reduction of all parking ticket fines by 29% to 34% by allowing Park Tucson to collect on-time payments and not charge processing fees.”
[Source: Park Tucson]
IEE Tapped for Replacement Display Contract With Cubic
Industrial Electronic Engineers (IEE), a manufacturer of enhanced displays for military and industrial applications, will be producing a 4.1-inch display to be used in ticketing systems for Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of Cubic Corp., and a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services for transportation authorities and operators.
“IEE has been a trusted provider of enhanced displays for CTS for a number of years,” said Steve Motter, Vice President of Business Development. “As our clients’ technology evolves, so do our displays, meeting the ever-changing hardware and software landscape.”
WPS Launches New ValiD Parking Ticket Validation System
WPS U.S.A. has introduced the ValiD barcode parking ticket validation transaction system, which processes ticket transactions over the internet. Using TCP/IP-based touchscreen scanner stations and web-client software, the system is fully integrated with WPS Model BC200 and ParkiD parking access & revenue control system platforms, the company said.
ValiD generates a “swift and seamless parking experience for the guest, while increasing the operator’s bottom line.”
The software is designed to reduce the need for parking staff to process validated tickets, while delivering 100% revenue capture. The transaction system includes iOS and Android mobile ticket validation apps; REST web service interface for third-party ticket validation and ticket reservations systems; Robust Merchant and Transaction Reporting; and mobile app for iOS and Android.
WPS Sales Manager Bob Bender said, “ValiD is one of the many features that [we], as leaders in parking technology, offer to be more environmentally friendly and to enhance the customer service experience.”
Source: WPS U.S.A.]
Passport Announces Acquisition of ParkX
Passport Inc., is pleased to announce its acquisition of ParkX, a mobile payment for parking provider based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Passport will assume the firm’s contracts and company assets. The acquisition of ParkX further expands Passport’s footprint supporting more of the top 100 cities across North America with mobile payments than any other provider.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the ParkX team which shares our same dedication and passion to bringing creative solutions to the industry,” said Bob Youakim, CEO at Passport.
“To see an idea turn into a company that is now joined with Passport, the industry’s clear leader, is one of the best outcomes you could set out to achieve,” said Ross Shanken, Co-Founder and CEO at ParkX. “Their team’s thought leadership and execution capabilities are unparalleled in the industry. We’re looking forward to this next chapter and bringing the latest in transportation technology to the existing ParkX clients.”
Together, Passport and ParkX will continue to provide the service today’s mobile consumer expects while bringing a wealth of additional services and features to ParkX’s existing clients. Upon completion of the acquisition, fifteen new markets will be supported by Passport’s platform, including Austin, TX.
[Source: Passport Inc.]