OMG — There are Problems with Parking in Niagra Falls

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OMG — There are Problems with Parking in Niagra Falls

The City of Niagara Falls, NY, has a problem. They have a large garage and its losing money, but the privately held garage across the street is making money hand over foot.  It has been suggested that they turn over the garage to a private operator, but they are reluctant to do so. Read all about it here.

The garage had been audited by a non parking auditor and the result was that they felt they couldn’t really audit the facility, because …

• Because ticket booths are open a limited number of hours,
customers with tickets who leave after the booths close do not have to
pay, and the city can’t account for their tickets.

• Local
businesses and hotels that have parking agreements with the city use
swipe cards to access the parking facilities, which make it difficult
to account for those parkers.

• Records of leftover ticket rolls used in 2007 were not maintained.

IN addition they received an anonymous  letter stating that seven grand had been stolen from the garage over the July  4 weekend.  The local police could find no evidence of a problem. 

What to do, what to do…..?????

Well, first they could get their garage under control by hiring someone who knows how to run a garage. Obviously no one in the city has a clue.

Second they could set their rates so that people parking on street paid more than people parking in the garage and begin to fill the facility.

Third, they could begin to market the garage like the private one across the street and "fill it up" and make at a minimum the amount it costs to keep it open.

Parking isn’t brain surgery, but it has pitfalls that need attention from someone who knows what they are doing.

Come on, Niagara Falls.  You were cutting edge in selecting the P and D equipment you did, and maybe now you are running scared.   But frankly, get yourself some help before its too late. If you are loosing seven grand a week, that’s over 350K a year.  And my guess is that that is probably low. 

I realize that the city dads in Niagara Falls probably believe that no one steals in the parking business.  But there is a reason why well run garages pay a small fortune for equipment to prevent theft and set draconian procedures in place to ensure that the money gets where its supposed to go.

JVH

JVH

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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