Reston Town Center serves as a premier consumer destination. The 2 million square foot mixed-use space located in Reston, Virginia houses more than 50 shops, 30 restaurants, a cinema, luxury living, a four diamond hotel, and office space.
When Reston Town Center was initially built, the parking garages were constructed without a gated option in mind. Once the location became a major stop on the Washington Metro Silver Line, Reston Town Center realized an access and revenue control system would be necessary to maintain parking availability for shoppers, tenants and employees, and to deter Silver Line travelers from using the garages as a park and ride. Reston Town Center initially released an RFP for a gate-based access control solution, but after an LPR-based pilot at a related property in Washington, D.C., the operator realized the potential of a gateless, ticketless solution.
“The Passport solution offers us the opportunity for a seamless and easy parking experience, especially for shoppers and transient parkers. It’s a very elegant solution that can get people in and out with ease, and still capture revenue. A ticketless solution is something we would like to see in every garage we have.” – Susan Cyran, Senior Property Manager, Boston Properties, Reston Town Center
Reston Town Center partnered with Passport to build and deploy one of the most advanced parking operations in North America. The total project leveraged technology from Park Assist, Ventek Systems, and management with LAZ Parking. Shoppers and short-term visitors can easily pay for parking through a mobile app. Daily parkers like office employees have access to digital permits. And the parking and permitting operations are enforced through a mobile solution and powered by a robust back end system that focuses on three primary aspects: availability, payments and enforcement.
With Passport’s cohesive parking and permitting system, in addition to an integration with the Park Assist parking guidance system, Reston Town Center can analyze trends in availability and direct hourly parkers to available spaces with ease through digital signage. Open parking spots and rate information can also be found on Reston Town Center’s website, which is accessible through the ParkRTC app, powered by Passport.
Accessible payment options
Passport’s configurable system allows for flexibility in Reston Town Center’s mobile payment operations. In addition to the private label ParkRTC mobile app, Passport also created a web-based app that is available on strategically-placed kiosks throughout Reston Town Center, serving people who may not have a smartphone with them. Parking validations for retail customers can be redeemed in the mobile or web-based apps before or after a parking session has been initiated, unlike with other mobile payment systems. And there is flexibility with rate adjustments for special events, common at Reston Town Center.
Reston Town Center’s office suite leases typically include an allocated number of parking permits for each tenant. Many tenants engage in office hoteling, so it can be difficult to keep track of how many employees are at the office and parking each day. The integration between Passport, Ventek and Park Assist allows Reston Town Center to monitor these virtual permits on a daily basis and is configured to send tenants a bill for the permits at the end of the month. Permits can easily support multiple vehicles and auto-renewals through Passport’s system.
Reston Town Center takes a targeted enforcement approach. There is a team of officers that uses license plate recognition (LPR) and mounted camera technology to monitor both garage and on-street parking. The technology alerts officers to areas of high violation density, making their work faster and more efficient.
Robust Back Office
When asked about the back office, Susan Cyran, Senior Property Manager, said “It’s versatile and intuitive. I appreciate that there has been so much configuration. The ability to create customized reporting is great, and the interface is clean and self explanatory.”
“Passport has been spectacular. I can give so many examples of cooperation, responsiveness and partnership. The entire client success team has been wonderful to work with. We recently went through an issue with one of our tenants, and Passport maintained a constant presence that kept the solution moving forward. It’s a positive, constructive and collaborative relationship,” said Cyran.
The Future of Parking
The team at Reston Town Center knows that this is just the start of the technology revolution happening in the world of parking, and that app-centered technology is just the beginning of an industry transformation.
“LPR, ticketless and app-centered technology is not going anywhere, but there’s also a quiet movement internationally with more and more systems in vehicles. I think the more that that technology gets a foothold, there will be more options directly through auto manufacturers, and less through kiosks and access cards. We haven’t seen a lot of movement in the United States yet, but it’s coming,” said Cyran.