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PARCS Functionality and Benefits

Spring 2013

We Want your Feedback!

Installing new PARCS equipment is a major investment that will impact the downtown Boise parking system for the next 10 years or more. Please review the description of the proposed PARCS system below and let us know what you think.

Email comments to PARCS@dppsboise.com.

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on the parking system and how it impacts your experience while visiting Boise!

What is PARCS?

The Parking Access Revenue Control System (PARCS) is the equipment that controls access and egress for parking garages. The Downtown Public Parking System (DPPS) is considering upgrading the PARCS equipment in all current and future parking facilities and requests your feedback.

The primary goal of this project is to provide better customer service and a reduction in operating expenses.

Timeline

The DPPS is currently seeking Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC) Board approval to allocate funds and solicit proposals to implement a new, state of the art PARCS. If approval is granted, it is the intent of the Agency to purchase and implement much of the PARCS before the 2013 Holiday Season. CCDC is in the process of evaluating vendors to replace the existing PARCS equipment which is utilized to manage the DPPS.

Why Now?

Replacement of existing PARCS is necessary due to the age (10+ years) and condition of the existing equipment. Much of the equipment utilized today is no longer supported by the manufacturer due to obsolescence.

The technology available with new PARCS provides opportunities for significant enhancements to the parking experience. It also provides improvements to allow for better management and coordination of the parking facilities which will allow for greater efficiencies and lower operating costs.

With the additional revenues and cost savings expected, the CCDC intends to implement other needed parking system improvements. These include mobile applications which indicate parking spaces availability by garage and facilitate parking transactions; replace existing exterior signage with signs showing parking space availability or other messages; and fund necessary improvements to the garages.

 

Key Changes to the Current System

Parking Ambassadors

Under normal circumstances, cashiers will no longer be stationed in a cashier booth. Cashiers will be replaced with "Parking Ambassadors," who answer questions, assist and explain how to pay for parking, and provide directions or recommendations for visitors to downtown Boise. The Parking Ambassador's role is focused on customer service, troubleshooting issues, and communicating with management about conditions in garages. In high-volume situations, cashiers may be employed to assist with entering and exiting.

Pay on Foot Kiosks

In our busiest garages, customers will be asked to pay for parking at a Pay on Foot Kiosk. These kiosks will be located on the ground floor of each elevator lobby, or other pedestrian corridors. Customers paying for parking prior to returning to their vehicle increases exiting capacity and reduces tie spent in line to pay for parking.

Two types of kiosks will be utilized

    • Full Service Kiosks which accept any form of payment (cash, credit/debit cards, validations) and return change to customers; and
    • Credit Card Kiosks which only accept credit/debit cards or validations as payment.

Pay in Lane Terminals

Each exit lane will be capable of accepting payment by credit card if a customer has forgotten to pay for parking prior to returning to their vehicle.

Customer Validations

Several local companies purchase validation coupons with are given to their customers for parking. There are to ways the new PARCS system can accommodate validations:

    • An Electronic Validation Encoder (for companies with a high volume of validations). This is a small desktop piece of equipment which encodes a parking ticket with data to identify the company, track revenue, and allow the customer to exit, either at a discounted rate, or at no cost. DPPS staff then invoice the company on a monthly basis for actual validation cost.
    • Pre-encoded Chaser Tickets (for companies with lower validation volume). These are purchased by the company from DPPS offices. The tickets are sold in a variety of denominations and in booklets of 10 or 20 tickets depending on value. These tickets can be provided to customers to be used at the Pay on Foot Kiosks before they return to their vehicle. The Chaser Tickets are inserted after the normal parking ticket, hence the term "chaser."


Benefit to Customers

Below is a brief description of how a new PARCS will work with various customer groups that use the downtown parking garages.

Transient Parkers

Short-term, hourly parkers who visit the downtown core to shop at local retailers or attend meetings.

    • Entering the Garage: customer pulls a parking ticket as they currently do
    • Paying for Parking: customer pays before returning to their vehicle at a Pay on Foot station, or at a Pay in Lane station with a credit card.
     

Benefits to Transient Parkers

    • Faster Exiting Speed
     

Monthly Parkers

Regular, day-long parkers who are in the downtown core to work or live

    • Entering the Garage: customer uses a Proximity Card to enter and exit the garage
    • Paying for Parking: customer pays for parking as they currently do

Benefits to Monthly Parkers

  • Faster Exiting Speed due to improved transient parking exit speed
  • Ability to use multiple parking facilities for an additional fee
  • Possible discounted monthly parking rates depending on the time of day

Value Card / Debit Card Parkers

A new PARCS allows customers a new feature: to set up a parking account. Customers who use this feature can access the garages utilizing a Proximity Card in the same manner as a monthly parker. Parking charges will be billed based on length of stay and current hourly rates. Charges are billed to a credit card associated with the customer's parking account or charged to a customer's parking account and invoiced.

 

Benefits to Value Card / Debit Card Parkers

  • Possibility for variable parking rates for evening or weekend usage
  • More affordable for part-time employees than monthly parking rates
  • Easy access into and out of parking garages
  • No restriction on what garage is used

 

 


Last Updated: May 10, 2013