The City of Washington DC

Serving the Nation’s Capital with 5.3 million inhabitants, the D.C. DPW – Parking Enforcement Management (PEMA) Administration handles one of the highest volumes of parking in the United States.

Overview

Its mission is to provide full coverage of the city within a 15-day period. Washington D.C.’s unique position as both state and city, as well as central hub to two surrounding states which regularly commute to the District for work, presents specific parking enforcement challenges. The DPW must fulfill the mandate set out by the city to enforce parking and be accountable to tax payers living in the District’s eight residential Wards.

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

Problem

The D.C. area is unique in that on any business day there are more vehicles from outside the District, namely from Maryland and Virginia (approximately a 2:1 ratio), working and living in the area compared with actual District residents. Determining who are residents and who are commuters poses certain difficulties.

An existing solution of manually inputted data had been developed to take inventory of gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software vehicles in every residential ward during overnight hours in order to determine what residents were not registering their plates. Time constraints and efficiency soon became an issue. The system took more than the 30 days (the vehicle registration period) to sweep the District’s residential wards in contrast to 3-5 days with gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software. With manual data input, it was impossible to cover the entire District in a reasonable period of time.

Dan Rossiter, project lead on the installation and training of the new system, noted that “Prior to gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software, it had been said that squads never ran at full capacity due to system and vehicle failures. There were approximately 3 teams per shift. Since using gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software the average number of vehicles has increased to 6 vehicles per shift due to a more efficient system.”

“There were approximately 3 teams per shift. Since using gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software the average number of vehicles has increased to 6 vehicles per shift due to a more efficient system.”

Solution

Working with the Washington D.C. Department of Public Works, gtechna launched an ambitious research and development project that would ensure that the 30-day rule for registering new plates in Washington D.C. was enforceable well within the designated time limit. Quality Control Manager, Thinh Nguyen states “gtechna worked very closely to customize a system that was tailored to comply with the business rules.” A proposal was set forth using the Elsag ALPR cameras combined with gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software to create an industry-leading solution to address the out-of-state problem.

Gtechna experts successfully developed a “value-added parking solution” resulting in a substantial improvement in enforcement operations. In 2009, $3,549,840 was generated in citation revenues with over 78,037 tickets issued. Every year citation revenue and issuance have steadily increased. Between 2008 and 2009 alone, citations increased by 25%. Exploring new frontiers in IT resulted in a novel solution that responded to all of the DPW Business Rules mandated by the District. gtechna performed an integral role, not only in the development but the deployment process. As active contributors in training sessions gtechna was committed to optimizing the Parking Control Officer’s (PCO) workflow on the field and management procedures at central command. Dan Rossiter, who worked one-on-one with PCOs to ensure a seamless transition, stated, “We have been able to provide a high level of support whether in person or remotely, saving time and money.”

Powerhouse in Innovation

In most places the Elsag system is being used as a stand-alone system to identify wanted vehicles (stolen vehicles, scofflaws, tax evaders, etc.). In order to optimize the Elsag system for a parking enforcement environment, gtechna took the initiative to team up with Elsag to harness the power of the ALPR technology and seamlessly apply it to the unique business rules of the DPW. Thinh Nguyen attests, “gtechna has been an ambitious innovator. They were ready to customize and develop a unique solution that hadn’t been previously available in the industry. They were willing to step up to the plate and work with Elsag to commit to a bold R & D endeavor.”

 

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gtechna has been an ambitious innovator. They were ready to customize and develop a unique solution that hadn’t been previously available in the industry. They were willing to step up to the plate and work with Elsag to commit to a bold R & D endeavor.

District of Columbia - Department of Public Works
Washington

Results

“gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software multiplies productivity by further automating the observation, warning and citations process, removing potential for human error,” says Thinh Nygyen, Quality Control Manager.

“The number of tickets has doubled, and the number of exemptions increased by 80% in 1 year. This indicates that the DPW has been enforcing successfully, making vehicle owners either register their plates or apply for exemption.” gtechna Residential Out-of-state enforcement software boasts a rock-solid proof-of-concept with plate scans exceeding over 362,571 in 2008 and 561,447 in 2009. As efficiency increases, so do the number of citations. From 2008 to 2009, the DPW maximized its resources increasing productivitiy exponentially.

The success of the DPW project has opened up new avenues to further exploit the potential in Automated License Plate Recognition, says gtechna’s Chief Technology Officer, Sergio Mastronardi. “I am proud that we’ve developed a solution that meets the government’s mandate to provide parking enforcement that factors in out-of-state plates and improves accountability to the public it serves.”

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