City of Charlotte, airport partner with Passport on parking enforcement

Originally published by Charlotte Business Journal on Dec. 13, 2018

Passport, a Charlotte-based mobile payments company, recently secured a project with the city of Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The project involves implementing Passport’s real-time parking-enforcement platform in city operations. City and airport agents can now monitor parking and issue citations more quickly via the Passport mobile app. Parking administrators are also able to access information, such as the location of agents, parking patterns and ticketing reports.

Financial details of the partnership were not made available.

Charlotte’s ParkIt, an entity operated by Republic Parking of Chattanooga, Tennessee, handles parking enforcement for the city. Charlotte invested more than $3 million in ParkIt and its related services this year. Passport is under contract separately with the city and the airport to provide its enforcement technology.

“We’ve already seen increased efficiencies with the implementation of our enforcement platform,” says Kelsey Owens, sales director at Passport.

Passport was Charlotte’s pick after the city issued a request for proposals, or RFP, for the job, Owens says. She notes the added benefits of working with its home city.

“With living in the city and working here, we’re able to be more hands on,” she says. “I think that’s what made this deal really exciting for us.”

Also in the works is a digital permits platform, which will allow parkers to purchase city permits online. Enforcement agents will be able to identify cars with or without permits using license-plate recognition technology. If a parker does not have a permit, the new platform will issue citations automatically and mail them to the parker, who can then pay the ticket through Passport’s online service.

That project is scheduled to roll out in 2020, and already-permitted parkers will be notified of the changes starting next year, Owens says.

This is not Passport’s first project in Charlotte.

Passport also partnered with the Charlotte Area Transit System in mid-2017 to launch the CATSPass app, a mobile solution to pay fare for the LYNX Blue Line light rail.

Then, in April, Passport again joined forces with CATS and ride-share company Lyft to implement a pilot program for easier access to the Lynx Blue Line Extension. The program supplements transportation costs for underserved riders who use Lyft to or from the JW Clay or Parkwood stations.

Founded in 2010, Passport’s services are now used in more than 5,000 locations. Company investors include Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital and Relevance Capital.