Bright lights, the ding of slot machines, and the smell of money. The City of Las Vegas is not only home to the world famous strip– a tourist mecca of entertainment, gambling, food and folly– its recent efforts to revitalize the downtown area have resulted in making Vegas a hub for entrepreneurship and creativity, too. The resulting traffic from tourists and the parking needs of residents have presented the city, known for its use of technology, with a unique environment that requires modern, innovative solutions to transportation problems. While the city had multi-space credit card meters, it sought a mobile solution that would allow drivers the ability to pay for and extend parking sessions remotely, and for the city to have a flexible payment option as parking demand evolves.
To address this need, Las Vegas engaged in a mobile payment pilot to test two mobile payment vendors When searching for potential vendors, the city stressed the need for partnership, seeking a team it could work with on an ongoing basis to provide technology that functioned well and that could continue to innovate.
“Mobile pay is an amenity. There is really no downside, which in this industry can be difficult to come by. It’s a simple win for everyone and makes your customers feel like they have options. It reduces the number of tickets you write. And it’s wonderful PR for elected officials. There’s no reason not to do it.”
– Brandy Stanley, Parking Services Manager, Las Vegas Economic & Urban Development Department
With Passport, Las Vegas gained a true partner that can provide an industry-leading mobile solution and can continue to innovate with the city as it becomes more and more connected.
Choosing a Partner
The city contracted with two mobile vendors, including Passport, in a pilot program. Passport was selected because of its technical capabilities and supportive team.
Spreading the news
After the pilot, the city worked with Passport to launch the app with a big marketing campaign, starting with the “Keep Your Change” event at Container Park, a popular local destination. The event featured free arcade games and attendees received $5 off their first payment with the app. A combination of Las Vegas and Passport ambassador teams promoted the app in the streets, and the city reached out to its 120,000+ Twitter followers to encourage app use.
Las Vegas has found that use of the app resulted in a reduced number of parking tickets, and improved payment compliance, which generates more revenue than unpaid parking citations. If there is a ticket issued, it’s easy to look it up in Passport’s back end to resolve any customer service issues. Passport is also integrated with the Parkeon system so the city can run reports on their entire operation.
“The support that Passport gives us is really excellent. The software is extremely intuitive. And the company culture is one of wanting to help and provide a good experience, so that’s been wonderful.” – Brandy Stanley, Parking Services Manager, Las Vegas Economic & Urban Development Department
Looking to the future
As Las Vegas looks to the future, the city is actively pursuing solutions to emerging problems, such as congestion from transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, and autonomous vehicles. There is already a year-long autonomous shuttle pilot downtown to relieve congestion and make transportation between destinations more efficient. And the groundwork for other smart city infrastructure, like implementing fiber internet and WiFi downtown and wiring traffic signals, is already being laid. The question of how parking will change over the next five, ten or twenty years still remains unknown, but Vegas is thinking about these key questions, and leading the way on solutions that other cities can look to for guidance.