In June of 2017, the Town of West Hartford went officially, “Gateless,” removing the physical barrier in all main parking garages and implementing the Digital Permit Program.
In 1 year, The Town of West Hartford succeeded in creating a system to service diverse clients and patrons, reducing operating costs and improving quality.
A Robust System to Serve Clients and Patrons
“Before we removed the gate, we would have lines every weekday to exit or enter,” said Nelson, “It would take at least 15 seconds per car to wait for the gate to go up and then back down. Pulling tickets would cause bumper-to-bumper traffic.”
Nelson reports that there are now virtually no lines in travel lanes to flow in and out of the garage, causing consumer satisfaction to increase drastically. In addition to fast entry and exit, multiple parking terminals are located throughout the garage to initiate parking. Customers have multiple payment options for convenience including; coin, credit card and mobile app payment.
As Nelson explains, “It’s not about the money. It’s the visitor and patron experience.” Nelson and her team at the Municipal Parking Division continue to receive feedback from clients and patrons.
Noah Webster Library is one of the many businesses that has fixed iPad kiosks and several portable tablets with eValidation app. The fixed iPad kiosks are used as standard registration portals for
visitors. The portable tablets are used on occasion when the Library has an event (e.g. lecture) and they need to process a large volume of attendees.
“This is an example of the robust and scalable application [digital permit program]”, said Nelson.
Reduce Operation Costs
Operation costs have decreased in both maintenance and labor with the gateless system. Nelson reports that with the previous system, the town would resort to lifting the gate after an event to keep from an extensive line forming and frustrating visitors. Money would be lost from each car leaving the garage. No staff is on duty 1am to 6am, leaving the gate raised during those hours. In the past year going gateless, staffing costs have reduced drastically and less money was lost.
“Staffing the parking garage booth was a work-in-progress with the gate”, explained Nelson. Employee turnover diminished funds and quality staff was hard to find. Additionally, if a booth attendant was out sick or didn’t arrive, the gate would need to be lifted, losing revenue from every car exiting the garage. Now, the system is self-sufficient requiring minimal maintenance, tracking every vehicle entering and exiting the garage.
Improve Quality, Repeatability, Accountability
Using the new data-driven solution, the town of West Hartford upgraded from a manually operated system, to a gateless, cloud-based process. The system, accounting every vehicle on premise, created reliability for both the consumer and the Parking Division.
“When you raise the gate, you aren’t counting those cars”, said Nelson, “All of that data and accuracy is lost.”
Using the Digital Permitting System, combined with the adaptable technology of the Cale CWT Pay-by- Plate terminals, data is accurate and accountable. Using this system since June of 2017, Nelson has been able to track which parking garages have more traffic and more specifically, which terminals are most utilized.
“We can watch the numbers and add new terminals easily depending on traffic”, said Nelson.