The Devil is in the Details


The Devil is in the Details

I’m still posting from the road. I was in Portland (Or) yesterday and got a tour of the PDX (Portland international airport) parking system from Dan Brame. His approach is simple — its the details that make it work.

Signage must be perfect, location just right, and help must  be right around the corner. Rather than lay off cashiers he uses them to help parkers with the new equipment and promote the new way to park at PDX. He even has one fellow standing at the entrance to the garage with one of those hand held signs like you see on weekends advertising houses for sale and the new pizza place on the corner. This sign bobbing up in down in the former cashier’s hands, reminds parkers to take their ticket. Great idea.

The system went live in January and already they are experiencing an 80% usage factor. Not bad for less than three months. AND 60% of their usage is credit card.

Dan gives credit for his success to an unlikely person, Ellis McCoy, the parking operations manager for the City of Portland. Ellis has put over 1100 pay and display machines on the city’s streets, replacing single space meters. The machines take credit cards and Dan thinks that because folks from Portland were exposed to credit cards daily parking onstreet, they moved more easily to using them at the Airport.

I’m off today to check out UDub (that’s the University of Washington for you great unwashed), and meet with Steve Long, president of the NPA — will report back later


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. John,
    Some might say that the success the City of Portland has seen with their multi-space on-street meters is due to City Center Parking in Portland converting all of their off-street facilities to pay and display years ago thus training the citizens of Portland on the advantages of multi-space meters. But I have heard that there was a San Francisco like ordinance that required multi-space meters in off-street facilities which prompted CCP to put their meters in, so maybe it comes back to the City’s efforts in the long run.

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