Pittsburgh’s Parking Kiosk System Pays Off

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority doubled its daily parking meter take despite a few speed bumps in converting from the city’s coin-operated machines to solar-powered kiosks that take credit cards and require license plate numbers.

“I do think technology is the way to go, and we are looking to expand what we have,” said David Onorato, Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s executive director.

His agency has had to upgrade the system and educate customers about higher rates and new technology, an effort he said could continue this year as the authority rolls out a pay-by-smartphone application; it would allow customers to pay for their parking from anywhere. Parking officials in a few years could use handheld license plate scanners to log numbers instead of punching them in manually.

“Who doesn’t have a cellphone or smartphone these days?” said Dave Webb, 31, an information technology specialist who lives in the North Side and uses the kiosks. “In terms of technology, I’m glad the Parking Authority is embracing it. I hope they continue that trend.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5004713-74/parking-authority-plate#ixzz2q6xTCIt2
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Scranton Mayor Proposes 56 Percent Property Tax Increase; 69 Percent Garbage Fee Hike

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With wary banks watching Scranton‘s finances closely, Mayor Chris Doherty today proposed a $130.5 million budget for 2014 that would dramatically raise real estate taxes, the garbage collection fee and parking-meter rates and penalties.

Read the budget HERE

A real estate tax increase of 56.7 percent would be one of the largest, if not the largest, tax hikes ever in the city. A trash collection fee increase of 68.5 percent – from the current $178 a year to $300 a year – would be the largest garbage fee hike ever.

The large spikes are all necessary to close a $20 million operating deficit for 2014 and restore the city’s creditworthiness with lenders, Mr. Doherty said.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-mayor-proposes-56-percent-property-tax-increase-69-percent-garbage-fee-hike-1.1586481

More Efficient Parking Still A Wilkes-Barre Priority

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE — A more than year-old study done by a potential vendor showed the “hidden value” in the city’s parking meters.   But the city is no longer interested and won’t see the increased revenue from using the company’s automated technology.

The pilot program conducted in late 2011 by StreetSmart Technology LLC put more parkers at the 45 meters involved in the program and boosted the daily revenue at the downtown spots.

“It proved that there is hidden value in the system,” Drew McLaughlin, city municipal affairs manager, said Friday.

However, the city held off on committing to use the company’s automated technology while it pursued a long-term lease of the parking assets in conjunction with the Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority for a minimum of $20 million to pay down debt and for infrastructure improvements and public safety.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/565159/More-efficient-parking-still-a-W-B-priority