MODERN PARKING MANAGEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE
20 Nov 2014
GTECHNA IS CHOSEN TO DEPLOY ITS PARKING SOFTWARE ON THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE® 3
Corvallis, Oregon, Nov. 20, 2014 – The City of Corvallis today announced a move to a new Android™-based parking solution to manage the downtown and residential on-street parking.
Located in the Willamette Valley, the City of Corvallis also known as the City of Trees possesses a natural landscape making it synonymous with some of the Pacific Northwest’s most picturesque topographies. The City holds a number of honors including being home to Oregon State University, voted the most liveable college town and, ranked #1 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s national list of Green Power Communities. Choosing a sustainable parking solution for the city’s technology road map that aligned well with recent achievements as well as future objectives set in the 2020 Vision Statement required careful consideration.
Technology, education, and environmental sustainability figure prominently among Corvallis’ chief concerns with regard to community development and core values. “Adopting the right parking solution that we can build on and that fits with our long term vision was very important”, commented Robel Tadesse, the City of Corvallis MIS Director. “In order to achieve these goals we needed to adopt a new model and required a company that possessed the experience needed to help educate our team on transitioning to this new system. Ultimately, we believed that a more efficient operation could positively impact challenges such as turnover and congestion among other on-street parking matters that directly affect livability of our community and the health of our local commerce.”
It was time for the city to review newer forms of technology. A shift toward a modern parking infrastructure can bring about benefits that are far-reaching such as increased convenience to year-round residents, local businesses, college students and faculty as well as visitors. Mr. Tadesse continued, “we were looking for technologies that matched our vision and held the most promise which is why we chose to deploy an automated parking system based on a mobile device.
A more accurate digital system where ticket data could be transferred over a secure wireless network and stored in a digital file eliminated a tremendous amount of painstaking data entry. “We needed to move toward a parking management system that would allow our enforcement officers to gain more time to cover more ground during a shift, reduce errors, and capture images in the field; we also needed to create a more streamlined approach to organizing data collected on the field and how it was imported into our ticket adjudication system” said Tadesse. Prior to this project, the City’s manual process required staff to enter and manage information on multiple levels.
“We also wanted to explore newer forms of technology for chalking” Tadesse added. Digital chalking, or eChalking, is a much faster method to manage zones with time limits. The premise is simply based on timing the vehicle, punching in a plate number and the system will provide an alert for expired vehicles.
Following a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, gtechna offered Corvallis the option to source out its own consumer mobile device carrier bringing the overall cost of implementing the technology down to a very affordable price point.
Mike Bourre, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at gtechna explained that “a key factor for many agencies like Corvallis is the opportunity to have control at a granular level over what type of device is used. Moreover, being able to offer a superior communications experience that goes above and beyond the standard eticketing formula has resonated strongly with our clients. Smartphones offer improved communication and coordination among field officers (PEOs) as well as between PEOs and administrative staff at City Hall; if there’s a complaint, broken meter or any other type of parking related matter that is called in, a dispatch can be issued immediately to target that area. It serves the community better and is simply a better use of everyone’s time. The reverse is also true; a PEO can call/text in to report a matter whether it is to dispatch towing or to alert fellow city services to a situation that may need tending to urgently. Less time sensitive communications can be sent by email to PEOs to check throughout the shift; instead of waiting until the end of the day to receive messages back at the office, field staff remain informed and up-to-date at all times of the day. Another value added is the ability to take high quality photos which can be attached to a ticket file for additional evidence.”
“When technology aligns with our mission and objective, we know we have a winner,” Mr. Tadesse opined. What gtechna offered was a good fit for Corvallis’ broader community livability goals and aligned well with the values upheld by its citizens.”
“Furthermore, the fact that we’re able to digitize our paperwork means that we are now by and large, running a paperless operation. From both administrative and environmental standpoints this is a victory”, concluded Tadesse.