Known around the world as the home of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and a number of other attractions, the City of Westminster is one of the busiest boroughs of London. Residents and tourists alike flood the streets to go about their daily commutes or to visit famous sites from history and film. To make getting around Westminster easier and to reduce congestion, the city wanted to introduce an intelligent parking solution which included real-time parking availability, mobile payments, and diesel surcharge program to reduce fuel emissions and improve air quality in the City.
While the City of Westminster had a mobile payment provider, technological gaps restricted the City from being able to implement the sophisticated solution its operation required, and app ratings were reflecting poor customer satisfaction. In the search for a new provider, Westminster sought a vendor on the cutting edge of development that was prepared to work in partnership with a local authority to develop a product suited to its specific needs, and that was accustomed to delivering a high level of service to both cities and end users.
Passport developed an app for the City of Westminster that easily integrated into the existing bay sensor parking availability solution. The Passport team ensured a smooth transition that resulted in a better system for Westminster and an increase in mobile app transactions.
When selecting a new mobile payment provider, Westminster sought a partner with experience configuring innovative solutions for local environments. With Passport, Westminster found not only a vendor that could handle the technological challenge and transition, but also an ongoing strategic partner in roadmap planning.
Passport’s positive, can-do culture and the experienced team made the transition to the new app as smooth as possible. Once the scope of work was agreed upon, a dedicated account manager provided regular communication and touch points through the development, testing and onboarding processes.
Increased Utilization, Decreased Costs
The transition from one app to another can be a difficult one, but the experienced teams at Passport and Westminster developed communication protocols to alert existing users of the app update and promote the update to potential new users. Registered customers received emails and SMS notifications to alert them of the app change, and localised efforts like media coverage promoted the app to the broader community. The new app, ParkRight, quickly grew in popularity, and user review rankings increased from an average of 1.5 stars to 4.6 stars. With the rise in app utilization and decline in IVR transactions, Westminster has also experienced a cost decrease.
Real-Time Technology, Vehicle-Based Rates
To provide real-time parking availability to drivers, the City of Westminster installed parking sensors in all on-street spaces. To manage fuel emissions, the City implemented a surcharge for diesel vehicles manufactured before 2015, made possible through an integration with the DVLA. Passport implemented a fully functional solution for the city, increasing enforcement accuracy, gaining positive app reviews, and receiving an outstanding score for parking service through Westminster’s annual resident survey.
“The results have seen a decrease of 16% in the amount of older vehicles parking in the LEN, meaning that over 250,000 of the most polluting vehicles per annum have been moved from the kerbside.”