I'm a former city of Pittsburgh resident who values the importance of supporting and frequenting the local businesses where I once lived. That said, I recently parked at the public parking facility in Bloomfield and used their ticket voucher system.
After inserting two quarters, which did not register, I deposited another seven. Two other couples were standing behind me watching and commenting with utter disbelief. One had to leave to look at his license plate number, which is required to purchase a voucher.
I was cheated. I called the complaint number on the ticket and was connected to the help desk. After 10 minutes, the call-taker provided little help. He was only able to tell me he was a vendor, hired by the vendor, who was hired by Pittsburgh Parking Authority. He was either unable or unwilling to tell me his employer. He gave me a phone number, but not the right one.
I made two calls, asked for a supervisor and only then learned I had been given a number for traffic court.
So, the parking authority hired an outside contractor to dispense parking vouchers; the vendor hired a call center (not a help desk) to report issues; and I'll bet my yearly wages that an outside consultant was hired to figure this all out.
To the parking authority -- Did you ever realize you employ a workforce? Did it ever occur to you that those employees could be utilized to randomly poll and interview the users of parking lots to see what might work best?
This is government at its best? How do I get my 50 cents back?