Wisconsin Dells is a small Midwestern city with a big reputation. While the city population is less than 3,000, Wisconsin Dells hosts approximately 3 million visitors each year, drawn to its natural waterways, sandstone formations, and family-friendly water parks.
Wisconsin Dells had coin meters and credit card pay stations for residents and visitors, but it sought a mobile payment solution to give parkers another convenient option. The city also wanted to decrease citation management costs and provide more accountability to its enforcement operation with a digital solution. While searching for a vendor to provide a mobile parking and enforcement solution, Wisconsin Dells looked for a company with strong customer service and technology that could easily integrate into its existing ecosystem through the ability to both push and pull data from its existing hardware solution.
“All cities are different— from pricing and parking rules to fine amounts— and I think Passport has such a good product that it can compliment any type of parking situation that cities have. Cities should ask themselves if they have accountability within their citation and collections process, and I want to reinforce that Passport will help with that accountability. And cities just need to get with the times.” – Police Chief Jody Ward, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Wisconsin Dells has a solution that fits into its existing parking environment with the ability to push and pull data, provides residents and visitors alike with a convenient way to pay, and provides accountability throughout its enforcement operations.
Passport’s mobile app integrates with the Digital Luke pay stations that Wisconsin Dells already had. Passport can easily push and pull data from this system, so Wisconsin Dells has a comprehensive understanding of what is going on throughout its parking operation and is able to streamline the entire system— from mobile payments to mobile enforcement.
Flexible rates and regulations
In addition to providing parkers with another payment method, Passport’s mobile software gives Wisconsin Dells the opportunity to easily adjust rates and time limits, and to provide additional rate options. Parkers can use a coin meter or a pay station for 2-4 hours, but if they use the app during certain days, they can park all day for a discounted price, an option Wisconsin Dells was unable to easily set up through its hardware options. And the city has found that it works. App transactions tend to be higher because people will gladly pay $5.00 for the whole day, even if they only stay for a couple of hours, as opposed to $2.00 for two hours on the meters. If they choose the hourly option on the app, visitors can easily extend their time from the app.
Passport and Wisconsin Dells worked together on designing and implementing signage and meter decals to promote the app. $1.00 validation cards were used to incentivize app downloads. Currently, Passport and the city are working together to create additional signage in areas where the city would like to significantly reduce reliance on hardware. “The goal is to eventually eliminate the pay station. I don’t want to pay $13,000 every 4 to 5 years to replace them,” said Chief Jody Ward.
Lower costs, better data
In the past, Wisconsin Dells enforcement officers would handwrite paper tickets, which cost the city 30 cents apiece. Now, rolls of mobile printer paper have replaced paper tickets, reducing costs. And the digital solution relieves the officers and office staff of manual data entry. “It was sloppy and the data entry was not a good system. Now all of the information on citations issued is automatically in the Passport system— which officer printed the ticket, if it was appealed, who voided it, etc. We can determine patterns, and this is a tremendous feature,” said Chief Jody Ward.
Now that Wisconsin Dells has a more efficient enforcement system, the officers are issuing more citations, and clerical staff is sending less letters because Passport handles letter sending for delinquent violation payments. “It’s become a software that we really rely on and it makes things easier and puts the technology out in front,” said Chief Ward.
“As far as the city government goes, they love it. I get tremendous support from Wisconsin Dells. They let me run with it, and they know [going mobile] is an important place to be,” said Chief Ward.