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Pennsylvania town deploys License-Plate Enabled parking ecosystem

The Borough of State College in Pennsylvania is the first municipality in the USA to implement a License-Plate Enabled (LEP) parking ecosystem, and has seen significant improvements to efficiency and return on investment. With a metropolitan area population of over 150,000, State College is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Parking options include three surface lots, three parking garages, and over 1,200 on-street parking spaces. During the school year, particularly on home football Saturdays, parking is extremely scarce. Before implementing the new system, the town’s streets were lined with coin-operated, single-space meters, and its enforcement handheld devices did not operate in a live environment. In-office permit sales were slowing workflows and collection was a slow, painstaking process.

After a thorough investigation of his options, the town’s parking manager, Charley DeBow, determined the best path to success was combining the services of Digital Payment Technologies’ multi-space meters, AutoVu LPR (License Plate Recognition) technology, Parkmobile Pay-by-Cell, and T2 Systems’ Flex Unified Parking Management platform to control the LEP ecosystem. Parking payments are accepted via Digital Luke II on-street pay stations or the Parkmobile app. All pay station and pay-by-cell transactions are pushed to the Digital Iris cloud-based platform. AutoVu reads license plates as the vehicle is in motion and communicates with Flex and Digital Iris in real-time to update the list of valid permits and paid license plates. If there is a license plate that does not have a permit or is unpaid, the officer can then issue a citation. State College’s entire operation now operates in the cloud and provides real-time updates to enforcement officers in the field and back office staff. Data is also consolidated in one central database making reporting and predictive intelligence easy.

The success of the new system has been notable, with: a 30% revenue increase in lots with multi-space pay stations; a US$30k/year revenue increase by eliminating piggybacking; 50% reduction in pay station collection cycles with the implementation of pay-by-phone from Parkmobile; and a 200% increase in online sales. “Having a unified parking management system has revolutionized the way we manage parking,” DeBow said. “The ROI numbers are fantastic and continue to improve. T2 Flex allows my staff and I to see every piece of our operation in real time and we are able to provide up-to-the-minute reports to our administration. “The Digital pay stations have allowed us to increase revenue through the elimination of piggybacking, provide more payment options to customers using coins, bills and credit cards, and provide a license plate number as a single parking credential that can be used anytime our patrons park in State College.”

September 18, 2014

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