Pittsburgh Pay by Plate

What are the target goals?

Due to the increasing costs of maintaining and supporting the city's coin operated parking meters throughout Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority (PPA) made the decision to do away with traditional meters in favor of a new model, Pay-by-Plate. The goals of this transition were to increase revenue, capitalize on new technologies, and improve the PPA's efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency.
The Pay-by-Plate system is supported by automated multi-space parking kiosks. To park in a Pay-by-Plate lot or zone, motorists input their license plate number into the kiosk and follow the simple on-screen instructions to pay for parking either by coin or credit card. The new system is both flexible and convenient for motorists because they are no longer restricted to a specific parking spot and can pay for additional time via any nearby kiosk. Furthermore, the PPA is now better able to track transactions, enforce parking rules, and create parking reports in real time through the use of handheld devices equipped with Pay-by-Plate software.

Who are the partners?

In order to implement the Pay-by-Plate system, a wide scale IT infrastructure and server communication update was required. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority partnered with Gtechna, an enterprise software provider, and Cale America Inc., a parking terminal services company, to implement and help manage the necessary machines and software. These partnerships are essential for maintaining and operating the Pay-by-Plate system on a city wide scale for at least the first seven years of use, per the purchase agreement. In addition, as the PPA works to establish a pay-by-phone payment option, new partnerships may be necessary.

How is the efforts financed?

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority paid for the implementation of the Pay-by-Plate system, which was budgeted to cost $6.8 million. Operating costs are financed through PPA funds as well as parking fees (which vary by location), tickets, and fines.

Other Details

The Pay-by-Plate system has achieved widespread success. The PPA issued almost 15% less tickets from January-August in 2014 than in 2013. Although the decrease in parking tickets is expected to continue, revenues have actually increased. This is mostly due to the convenience of the payment system for motorists.

When was the program launched?

The transition to the Pay-by-Plate parking method in neighborhoods throughout the city began in 2012. To date, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority has replaced 5,500 parking meters with 905 Pay-by-Plate kiosks, covering 80% of all metered spaces in the city.


Cato, Jason (2014, January 11), Pittsburgh's parking kiosk system pays off, Trib Total Media. http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5004713-74/parking-authority-plate#axzz3O4eYzCY5  

Hayes, Heather B. (2013, September 16), Pittsburgh Leads in Parking Payment Technology, StateTech,http://www.statetechmagazine.com/article/2013/09/pittsburgh-leads-parking-payment-technology

Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Enforcement & Meter Policies, http://www.pittsburghparking.com/enforcement-meter-policies 

Smydo, Joe (2012, April 20), 500 new 'pay-by-plate' parking meters planned, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2012/04/20/500-new-pay-by-plate-parking-meters-planned/stories/201204200163

Smydo, Joe (2012, December 21), Parking authority studies pay-by-phone technology, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2012/12/21/Parking-authority-studies-pay-by-phone-technology/stories/201212210192 

Zullo, Robert (2014, September 18), Pittsburgh parking tickets down, revenue up as drivers use pay stations, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/09/18/Pittsburgh-parking-tickets-down-revenue-up-as-drivers-use-pay-stations/stories/201409180276

City Solutions and Applied Research
National League of Cities, www.nlc.org
Uploaded February 2015, JAB

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