It is always nice to see an improvement in service while reducing costs. The Lancaster Parking Authority has done just that by replacing security details patrolling the parking garages in center city by car with security officers on bicycles. It is felt that the officers on bicycles are highly visible and approachable if help is needed by a customer.
The reason for this change was not due to any increased criminal activity. The change was made to improve customer service and safety. The side benefit is saving the Parking Authority money. The city has contracted these services through Allied Barton. The decision to go with Allied Barton was made using advice from Lancaster PD, Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster General Hospital, as well as the Parking Authority.
Two officers were contracted for $70,000 through Allied Barton and will work 11 hours shifts riding around downtown Lancaster’s five garages, being highly visible in their yellow shirts. The security officers carry handcuffs and mace. In the event backup is needed, the Parking Authority bike officers will contact the James Street Improvement District bicycle ambassadors as first responders. City police are only contacted as needed. The James Street Improvement District already uses Allied Barton for their bicycle ambassador program.
This program will save the Parking Authority $10,000 to $20,000 per year by substituting Allied Barton staff for Parking Authority staff. Allied Barton specializes in security and the Parking Authority specializes in parking cars so the change makes sense. It is expected that the new bike team will put 40 miles per day on their bikes while patrolling.
If you want to learn more about Lancaster’s James Street Improvement District Ambassador program click here: http://www.jsidlancaster.org/bikesquad.cfm
To learn more about the Lancaster Parking Authority, click here: http://lancasterparkingauthority.com/