Austin, Texas continues to grow in popularity as a premier American city. With both its residential population and status as a fun travel destination increasing rapidly, concerns around parking and mobility tend to be a focal point amongst city officials and the surrounding communities they serve.
The City of Austin became a Passport customer in 2016, where Passport helped rebrand the City’s mobile pay parking app from ParkX to Park ATX — but that was only the beginning of an incredible journey in making Austin an innovative leader in parking and mobility management.
MORE THAN AN APP
The first iteration of the Park ATX application launched in 2017, but the City was not content with just launching the app. Passport worked closely with the City to understand their vision and goals, not only for the mobile pay parking program, but for managing all things mobility.
One of the first requests the City had was the need for better data to make more strategic policy and pricing decisions. Passport helped lead a massive rezoning project, moving Austin from five parking zones to more than 600 in order to provide them with more granular parking session and payment data.
That data enabled the Austin Transportation Department to start removing meters in areas where mobile pay utilization was highest, saving significantly on maintenance and labor costs that were then reinvested into the City.
The insights Passport’s platform provided from the rezoning project allowed the city to remove 603 meters and move to more mobile pay only zones, which helped increase revenue since those parkers tend to be more compliant and spend more. Now, all Austin implements are mobile pay only zones when adding new parking spaces. When their soccer stadium was built, the City didn’t install any meters because the data showed them meters weren’t needed.
In 2019, Passport launched a new version of the Park ATX app and worked with the City to deploy new signs and marketing to promote the revamped application. Passport also added a ‘Stop Parking’ feature to replenish user wallets and provide more parking duration flexibility, which Austin attributes to a boost in app utilization and saved Park ATX users more than $60K in parking fees in the first quarter alone when the feature was launched.
PARKING TO PLATFORM
As Austin started to evolve how it was managing parking, they also started to leverage the data and insights they knew they could get from Passport’s platform. Since 2020, Austin has worked with Passport to integrate with their meter provider for payment data ingestion and its enforcement provider to better enforce pay by plate pay stations, implement a progressive rate change system, and launch the ability to pay for parking in Google Maps and Google Pay apps.
Passport’s platform allows the City to manage its entire operation in one place. Its other vendors use Passport’s APIs so they can keep everything consistent across all payment options in one integrated system, which has also resulted in reducing the time officers spend on monitoring vehicles.
Additionally, Passport’s reports are used broadly across Austin’s mobility operation. Reconciliation isn’t just centered around the parking department as the reporting for the finance and enforcement teams has also been crucial in connecting their different teams.
Austin launched digital permitting through Passport in early 2022, adding yet another solution that is managed within the same platform, streamlining their operation and centralizing all their mobility data in one place.
The City will soon be launching a pilot program for fleet management. Through a partner integration with Passport’s platform, the City will be monitoring delivery fleet activity as they look to apply the same data-driven decision making it uses for parking and enforcement to how they manage fleets.
Passport’s platform provides the City with the flexibility needed to accommodate changes they are seeing across mobility, providing an infrastructure for the City to manage the growing demand at the curb holistically.