Pittsburgh parking tickets down, revenue up as drivers use pay stations
September 18, 2014 11:39 PM
As of mid-August, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority had issued nearly 25,000 fewer tickets than over the first eight months of 2013.
By Robert Zullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
As of mid-August, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority had issued nearly 25,000 fewer tickets than during the first eight months of 2013, a decrease of nearly 15 percent.
However, overall revenue is up over the same period, a sign that board members and authority officials take to mean that the new, multi-space, pay-by-license-plate meters installed over the past two years are performing as expected.
“It's not a bad thing, it's a good thing,” board member Aradhna Oliphant said. “You're creating less anger in the public out there. … These are good trends.”
David Onorato, parking authority executive director, said the uptick in revenue, including a slight increase in money collected from street and lot meters and lot leases, has made up for the drop in parking fines. The authority could not immediately provide exact figures for how much ticket revenue has dropped because ticket amounts vary from $20 to $250.
However, revenue in August was up by about 0.7 percent to $1.1 million from $1.09 million in the same month last year.
Board member Jeff Cohen acknowledged that the figures mean drivers are putting more money in the new meters than the old ones because time can only be added to the meters in increments of $1 when paying with a credit card, for example.
“It’s much more difficult to monitor your time,” he said, though he noted, overall, “It’s a good thing because people are getting less tickets.”
At Thursday’s meeting, the board authorized Mr. Onorato to solicit bids for a pay-by-phone system that would allow users to track the time remaining on meters and add money via their mobile phones.
Mr. Onorato said the service would come with no “capital outlay” to the authority, noting that companies that provide the service set up the system themselves and typically charge a user fee to customers, which averages about 35 cents.
“We would retain our full parking rate,” he told the board.
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