Up until 2012, Steel City was just that, a metropolis vast with steel, coin-operated single-space meters. The slow-paced meters had been a part of the city’s landscape for nearly 75 years and were becoming difficult to support.
David Onorato led the modernization for the Authority with a vision to improve the parking experience for all Pittsburgh patrons, for those on-street and off-street in busy lots. The first objective was to extend the option of paying by debit or credit cards to those who were limited to the use of coins to pay for parking.
“With the support of my I.T. Department, the decision was made that pay-by-plate was the way to go,” said Onorato, “We decided we were about to make a drastic change from the coin meters.” The Authority made the bold move to transition the meters with a vision of increasing revenue, capitalizing on new technologies, and improving the Authority’s efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency.
In 2012, Pittsburgh became the first U.S. city to implement an on-street pay-by-plate system on a large scale. The Authority made the decision to manage its network of metered spaces with the latest generation of multi-space kiosks, Flowbird’s Cale Web Terminal (CWT). Flowbird’s solution offered competitive pay-by-plate technology, with notable track records of successful implementations across Canada and Europe.
“We selected the vendor that offered the most advantageous product on the best terms,” said Onorato.
The Authority began installation of 500 Pay-By-Plate terminals, the largest CWT installation in the U.S. at the time. The terminals were all connected to Flowbird’s back office system, Cale Web office (CWO), which monitored the status of the terminals and tracked revenue generated.