The acronym PARCS stands for Parking Access & Revenue Control System equipment. It is fundamentally the hardware (gate arms, ticket spitters, card readers) and software that controls access to and from parking structures; accounts for the fees associated with customer visits; and records a multitude of important data which helps manage a parking system (number of visits, length of stay, etc.). The previous parking equipment was over 12 years old and was becoming difficult, if not impossible, to service.
With the assistance of the current parking operator and a local parking consultant, we re-evaluated our vision and decided to pursue a largely automated parking system. This was in part made possible by advances in parking technology which allows for the installation of pay terminals in the parking entrances and exits. Additionally, this change was made possible as our culture becomes more comfortable with use of technology for a myriad of daily transactions, from banking to buying groceries.
Key Changes to Current System
- Parking Ambassadors – Cashiers will no longer be stationed in a cashier booth. Replacing the cashiers will be a new position called “Parking Ambassador”. Parking Ambassadors will be available to assist customers with payment options, directions or questions about the local area. Their role will be focused on customer service, troubleshooting issues that may arise, and communicating with management about conditions in the garages.
- Pay On Foot Kiosk – Customers will be asked to make payment for parking at a Pay On Foot Kiosk. Kiosks are located on the ground floor of each elevator lobby, or other high pedestrian corridors. Having customers pay for parking prior to returning to their vehicle have increased exiting capacity and reduce time spent sitting in line to pay for parking.
- Pay In Lane – Each exit lane is capable of accepting payment by credit card if a customer has forgotten to pay for parking prior to returning to their vehicle.
- Validations – There are many local businesses that purchase validation coupons which are utilized for visitor parking. There are two primary ways which we can accommodate validated parking. For high volume customers, we would recommend the use of an electronic validation encoder. This is a small desk top piece of equipment which will encode a parking ticket with data to identify the company which is validating the ticket, track the revenue, allow the customer to exit as a discounted rate or at no cost to the parker, then allow our staff to invoice the company on a monthly basis for actual validation cost. The second option for lower volume customers is to purchase pre-encoded chaser tickets from our offices. The tickets will be sold in a variety of denominations and sold in booklets of 10 or 20 tickets depending on the value. These tickets can then be provided to customers to be utilized in the Pay on Foot Kiosks as they prepare to return to their vehicle.
These are short term hourly parkers which visit the downtown core and shop with the local retailers, or attend meetings.
- Entering a Garage – Customer will enter the garage and pull a parking ticket as they currently do.
- Paying for Parking – Customer will make payment before returning to their vehicle at a Pay On Foot Station.
- Benefits include faster exiting speed and less cueing of vehicles at exit.
Enter and Exit the facilities in the same manner as they currently do. Proximity Card readers will be utilized at the entry and exit lanes. Benefits include:
- Possible usage of multiple parking facilities for an addition fee.
- Possible discounted monthly parking rates depending on time of day.
- Faster Exiting due to improved transient transaction processing