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Utilizing a Digital Mobility Platform to Manage Parking in Tourist Towns

As COVID restrictions lift, the US is seeing a historical amount of travelers on the road and in the air. Fourth of July travel alone was up 40% from last year with 47 million people traveling across the country. In a recent survey conducted by AirBnB, the home sharing company found that over half of the participants said they were looking to book within driving distance from their home, a trend that spiked during the peak of COVID. Tourist destinations across the country are thus experiencing an influx of people looking for a nearby escape. This means an increase in the number of people parking, permits purchased and of course citations written in these destination towns. Passport’s digital end-to-end platform is helping several towns and cities manage their mobility operations during the summer vacation season through its mobile pay parking, digital permitting and digital enforcement solutions.

A familiar way to park

Mobile pay parking continues to increase in popularity post COVID, as many people are looking for contactless ways to pay for parking. With the Passport Parking app, cities and towns across the country are able to offer an easy, convenient and familiar way to pay for parking. Take Provincetown, Massachusetts situated on Cape Cod for example. During peak season, the small island’s population increases from 3,000 to 40,000 residents. With only 1,200 spaces, parking can be challenging. With Passport, however, the town is able to promote an easy and safe way to pay for parking and encourage turnover throughout the spaces. According to city officials, tourists frequently say that they already use the Passport Parking app making parking easy and convenient, ultimately contributing to an increase in parking compliance.

More parking options for out of town visitors

In addition to the Passport Parking app, Passport’s digital platform also supports an open parking ecosystem through API access. This means that people can pay for parking using mobile applications that they already use in their daily lives. A tourist, for example, wouldn’t have to download and enter their information into a new app. Austin, TX, a city that has seen an increase in tourists over the past ten years, allows residents and visitors to pay through Google Maps, a feature powered by Passport. “By providing people the ability to use applications they already have on their devices to pay for parking, people can get to the places they care about faster,” said Gina Fiandaca, Assistant City Manager. “We’re working hard to make it easier for Austin residents and visitors to use the parking system.”

Streamlined enforcement processes

Chasing down unpaid citations can be a difficult process, especially during peak tourist season when out of town visitors make up a large percentage of the population. Kennebunkport, Maine for example, used to manually lookup violator addresses and hand mail outstanding ticket letters. In a town made up of more visitors than residents during the busy season, correlating tickets, tracking in a spreadsheet, sending to Town Hall and then mailing was a full-time job. Passport’s system can automate this manual process through integrations with the DMV, and has saved the Kennebunkport team 15 hours a week during peak season.

Ease of looking up rental car violations

While the number of rental cars on the road decreased during COVID, we are already seeing  that the rebound in air travel will have a positive impact on the rental car industry. Citations associated with rental cars can cause serious headaches for enforcement departments of tourist towns since plates are associated with rental companies, not individual renters. Passport offers an integration with VERRA. This allows Passport to obtain the driver information for citations issued to rental cars so cities can send letters and collect payment from the driver of the car at the time the citation was issued. If driver information is not transferred to Passport, the rental company’s processor, VERRA, will pay the citation on behalf of the rental car company/the driver within weeks.  

To learn more about how Passport’s digital platform can help your city or town contact us today.