Pay by Plate in Pittsburgh

The Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh (PPAP) decided to upgrade their parking system to modern pay-by-license plate technology. gtechna and Cale America were selected to take care of the complete implementation.


In this project gtechna has teamed up with Cale America, a company that specializes in the manufacture of advanced pay stations. This allows gtechna to provide an intelligent parking and enforcement solution based on a car’s unique vehicle license plate number. Parkers can pay by credit card or debit, and the pay station is also capable of integrating with pay by phone applications to provide further convenience to the customer.


“We selected the vendor that offered the most advantageous product on the best terms,” commented David Onorato, Executive Director for the PPAP.



This new generation of Pay by Plate technology provides many advantages to customers. After purchasing time from the terminal, patrons do not have to return to their vehicle to display a receipt. Receipts are available, but are optional, and are not required for compliance. For added convenience, patrons are now able to pay at any pay station in each rate zone. With these enhancements and the added option for credit card payments, the terminal upgrade project has received much praise from the Pittsburgh business community.


The launch of this smart system has been very successful and the solution has proven not only to enhance the customer’s parking experience, but also the city’s efficiency. During the first half of 2013, after the installation, there were more than 1,000,000 successful plate-based transactions in Pittsburgh and the number of total complaints of any kind about the new system were down to 0.03%.


Their thorough approach and commitment to local project support is refreshing and gives us great confidence that Pittsburgh will have one of the best parking programs in the world.

Moving into the Future with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority


Patrons are required to enter their vehicle license plate number prior to paying for parking. The transaction is then sent in real time via wireless communication to secure Cale WebOffice servers where the plate information and payment status are automatically relayed to parking enforcement. Enforcement staff can immediately check on which vehicles are paid using Samsung Galaxy Note® 3 Smartphones equipped with license plate recognition software provided by gtechna.


gtechna and Cale demonstrated that they can not only provide the right technology, but they also have an excellent track record of implementing successful parking programs throughout the US, Canada and overseas.



PPAP was impressed with the improvement to enforcement. They can now quantify exactly how many vehicles (plates) have been checked each day, how many were in compliance, and how many were cited, etc. With the previous Pay & Display and Single-Space solution, enforcement was purely visual; there was no way to measure enforcement efficiency and productivity and the number of citations issued.

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