Airport Business

MAY 2017

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PARKING 14 airportbusiness May 2017 effective and safeguard revenues against lost and even swapped tickets. There are two types of LPR systems: sta- tionary LPR and mobile LPR. Both interface with the parking access and revenue control system (PARCS) for audit control. Stationary LPR uses mounted cameras at the entrance and exit points of a facility. The cameras capture the license plate images of cars as they enter the facility. When the ticket is surrendered at the exit, the vehicle's license plate is compared with the image that was recorded at the entrance. If a different ticket is used at the exit, the vehicle's license plate won't match the entering vehicle's license plate, which creates an alarm condition. The software can then be directed to search for the matching license plate image to determine the corresponding entry ticket data (date and time). This provides for accurate fee calculations in the event of lost tickets and eliminates the possibility of drivers exchanging tickets in an attempt to reduce the parking fee. Stationary LPR also enables the vehicle's license plate to serve as a parking credential. Rather than pulling a ticket, the LPR system can record the license plate and automatically raise the gate. The license plate image replaces the ticket. We may lose tickets, but it's unlikely we'll lose our license plates. License plates can also replace monthly parking credentials, such as proximity cards, but it is not perfect and a back-up system, such as a ticket dispenser, proximity card reader, etc., will still be required in the event of a misread. Mobile LPR uses vehicle-mounted cameras to record license plate images of all parked cars as the vehicle drives through the facility. The data is synchronized with the previous day's data to track the duration of stay for each vehi- cle. If the facility is separated into zones and the vehicle drives the same route each night, the system can locate vehicles by querying their license plates. CREDIT CARD IN/CREDIT CARD OUT Another option for minimizing lost tickets is getting rid of them entirely. Credit card in/ credit card out systems have a parker swipe a credit card rather than taking a ticket. The software timestamps the transaction, ties it to the credit card, and stores it until the parker returns and swipes the credit card at the exit. The software then retrieves the entrance data, calculates the fee, and charges the credit card. No cashier is needed so this can be an auto- mated exit lane. Make it a dedicated express lane to give frequent flyers the added bonus of bypassing lines at cashiered exits. PAY-ON-FOOT PARKING If you're still using cashiers, payroll is one of your largest operating expenses. Pay-on-foot (POF) systems replace cashiers with automated payment machines that don't require meal breaks, never take sick days, and rarely talk back (except for automated prompts). As the name suggests, the parker walks up to the POF before returning to his or her car. The POF is strategically located so parkers will walk past it or near it on the way back to their cars. The parker inserts the ticket (received upon entering the garage), which is read by a fee computer that calculates the fee. The POF uses visible and audible messaging to guide the parker through the payment process. The audible messages can be programmed in mul- tiple languages. POFs can accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, or validations. The ticket is validated as paid and returned to the motorist. A receipt is provided upon request. The POF advises the parker to insert the validated ticket at the exit verifier at the garage exit and an intercom button is available in the event the parker needs assistance. The parker returns to the car, drives to the exit gate and inserts the validated ticket into the exit verifier, which also uses visible and audible messaging. Upon confirming the validated ticket, a signal is sent to raise the exit gate. The POF allows for a predetermined grace period (i.e.:20 minutes) to allow the motorist enough time to return to the car and drive to the exit. If the time expires, the motorist will be prompted to pay an additional fee for the additional time parked. The exit station can process credit card payments. This ensures that the parker pays the appropriate fees rath- er than intentionally paying for parking before leaving in an effort to pay a lower fee and also enables parkers who neglected to pay at the POF to pay at the exit. If you haven't implemented some of these technologies--and others we haven't covered here--you may be losing market share to an airport that has! For the latest informaƟon about technology that is available now and will be in the near future, the parking industry trade associaƟon, the InternaƟonal Parking InsƟtute, offers publicaƟons, resources, cours- es, conferences, and airport parking-specific forums. Learn more at parking.org. Dan Kupferman, CAPP Director of Car Park Management Systems, Walker Parking Consultants ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dynamic signage in parking facilities can assist travelers in finding a parking space by providing real time information on available spots.

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