20 Jan 2015


Niagara Falls can now not only pride itself in being home to one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions, but also for being among the first cities to embrace a new generation of mobile technology for parking software using Android Smartphones for communication and paperless ticket management.

In order for the City of Niagara Falls to manage parking for both residents and tourists, , Niagara Falls uses a mix of pay and display and pay by plate kiosks. Android-based parking software furnished by gtechna is used to enforce parking by-laws. Parking Enforcement Officers use Samsung Galaxy Note® 3 Smartphones to enter a vehicle plate number for verification and can issue an electronic ticket with an attached photo for evidence using the built-in-camera. The ticket data is sent in real time to administrative servers for processing.

Paul Brown, The City of Niagara Falls, Manager of Parking Services explained that “due to the exceptionally high volume of circulation, our primary concern is with congestion which becomes crucial to manage as efficiently as possible, particularly, in peak periods. Canada’s weather makes Niagara Falls a seasonal economy; local businesses, large and small, depend on us to provide them with the best parking management services available.” Brown also commented that “the Smartphone parking app and pay by plate system allow our officers to work more quickly and has helped dramatically reduce errors.”

Smartphones have carved out a new niche in the parking industry. Pondering reasons why, Mr. Brown indicated that “alot of the value added came from having a flexible hardware solution. Providing the department with the choice of going direct-to-carrier gave us more control over what package was best suited to our business needs; moreover, it also allowed for an affordable pricing option.”

“Adopting an Android plate-based parking system has had overall improvement in both service to the public and tools for our parking enforcement officers; the city and business owners can rest assured that we’re running at optimal efficiency”, concluded Brown.

Mike Bourre, Vice-president of Sales and Marketing at gtechna pointed out that “communications capabilities on the handheld device were key requirements. PEOs use the Smartphone’s talk/text features for more targeted enforcement and to maximize the time spent on a shift to better coordinate between other field officers as well as office managers.” Bourre continues, highlighting that “the Note® 3 holds a lot more appeal than classic models of handheld computers because of the wide variety of apps available to improve productivity.”

Michel Guay, President and CEO at gtechna observed that “Niagara Falls represents a trend in parking software moving toward Smartphones and plate-based parking management that allows for a scalable solution that can grow with a city’s current and future plans to develop infrastructure. It also answers a demand for more affordable solutions without sacrificing quality. We know that a modern solution must fulfil both requirements which is what makes our pay by plate software an appealing option to a growing number of parking agencies.”

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