City installs paid parking system supplied by Flowbird Group

The Albany Parking Authority has announced its plan to extend a new parking program after a successful preliminary pilot of 12 Flowbird StradaPAL kiosks. Installation of 158 additional kiosks will be completed by late July, 2018 in conjunction with the city’s parking payment app.

Flowbird Group, the name of recently merged parking and transit leaders, Parkeon and Cale, installed 12 trial Parkeon StradaPAL Pay-by-Plate kiosks in June of 2017. The pilot location ran along State Street between Eagle and Broadway and covered 100 spaces.

The goal of the pilot program was to present a viable upgrade to the city’s current meter system. With the old meters aging, the city deemed it the right time to bring pay-by-plate and mobile payment apps to motorists, citywide.

According to Albany Parking Authority Executive Director, Matt Peter, 30 to 40 percent of motorists used the city’s app with the new meters during the pilot period.

“It took some people getting used to putting their license plate number in the machine or in the app, but once it was done, people described it as much easier to use and there was a strong desire with a lot of our customers to see it go citywide,” said Peter.

Flowbird’s Parkeon system was selected for several factors including the company’s industry reputation, years of experience, and strong customer service.  In addition, the StradaPAL kiosks are multi-lingual and can be programmed to offer coupons for nearby businesses. The kiosks are weather-ready, resistant to cold, rain, ice and grout, along with being ADA compliant.

“We are extremely pleased to have been chosen as the preferred system supplier for this exciting project,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America.  “We look forward to providing the citizens in Albany with an easy-to-use, secure parking solution.”

The remainder of the kiosks, 158 out of total 170, will be rolled out in 2 phases. The initial phase will be completed by Monday, June 25, leaving the 2nd phase to be completed by the end of July.

Posted: 03 Jul 18

June 30th, 2018

New self-service kiosks will make it more convenient for customers to purchase passes and other products at Colorado state parks

Installation has begun on a new automated self-service pay system for the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife, announced Flowbird Group, the name of recently merged parking and transit leaders, Parkeon and Cale. Flowbird’s Parkeon Strada self-service pay stations are being added at Colorado state parks that will augment or replace the existing system requiring customers to place their cash in envelopes when staff aren’t available to sell park passes.

The Strada machines take credit cards and are more weather-resistant than the envelope system, more convenient for customers who aren’t carrying cash, and require less employee time to collect payment.

“Not a lot of people have exactly seven dollars [for a daily park pass] in their pockets,” said CPW Statewide Business Operations Coordinator Kirk Teklits. “As far as customer service goes, being able to pay by credit card is definitely a desirable service option."

The kiosks can also sell annual state park passes. The machine prints a receipt the customer can bring in to a CPW office to redeem for their annual pass. Teklits reports that 15 stations are currently installed at 9 parks and more will be coming later this summer.

“This helps our state parks become more modernized,” Teklits said. “Most of the kiosks run on solar power, provide multiple sales channels to our customers, and help our staff with money collection and counting. It also helps our law enforcement officers quickly determine who has bought a pass and who hasn’t.” 

 Teklits reports that there have already been more than 800 daily passes and 55 annual passes sold through the Strada kiosks since the first ones were installed June 13.

The new kiosks are currently located at these state parks:

  • Boyd Lake
  • Castlewood Canyon
  • Chatfield
  • Lory
  • North Sterling
  • Highline
  • James M. Robb - Island Acres
  • Lake Pueblo 

The kiosks will be installed at these locations later this summer:

  • Cherry Creek
  • Eleven Mile
  • Golden Gate
  • Staunton
  • Steamboat Lake
  • Cheyenne Mountain
  • Lathrop 

“We are extremely pleased to have been chosen as the preferred system supplier for this exciting project,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America, “Now that they are able to offer onsite credit card payments at more Parks Sites, we anticipate an increase in compliance and revenue for Colorado State Parks."

 Currently, Flowbird’s StradaPAL multi-use kiosk is used today at many different park locations around the US – from New York State Parks to Nevada State Parks to Washington State Parks – and has been deployed most recently for the National Park Service at the National Mall.  Strada offers the flexibility to sell many different products such as admission fees, boat launch fees, and camping fees and it can also display news and event information happening around the parks.

 

Posted: 02 Jul 18

Overview

Nestled at the base of north Arizona’s San Francisco peaks, the City of Flagstaff is home to over 70,000 people and is the seat of Coconino County. Flagstaff’s vibrant Downtown, rich historic character, thriving cultural scene, magnificent natural setting, and its position at the gateway to the Grand Canyon National Park make it a desirable place to live and visit. With growth and investment Downtown, the City’s success has created conflicts around parking access for workers, residents, shoppers and visitors. Demand for parking Downtown led the City to undertake a comprehensive parking study and management plan that resulted in a new paid parking system for Downtown. To address the City’s needs as it grows and evolves, Flagstaff worked in partnership with FLOWBIRD to develop solutions that address local needs, reduce conflicts, improve the user experience and support community goals for Downtown Flagstaff. 

Parking in Downtown Flagstaff is in high demand and the City controls only 37% of the parking supply Downtown, mainly in on-street parking. North of Route 66, parking can be particularly hard to come   by with occupancy staying close to 100% during the summer tourist season before paid parking. While the City’s limited on-street parking assets were stretched thin, private off-street parking Downtown   was underutilized. The City’s growth both in population and demand for parking stressed Flagstaff’s need for effective parking management. 

THE PROBLEM

Overview of the Parking System

A survey of Flagstaff residents, workers and business owners confirmed that most had a difficult time finding parking Downtown. Although a 2009 study recommended metered 1-hour parking for on- street stalls, most residents found parking meters undesirable. Local business owners expressed some support for paid parking management strategies, with one quarter were willing to pay for employee parking Downtown if suitable parking options were available.

THE SOLUTION

ParkFlag Program

In 2017, the City implemented ParkFlag, a comprehensive parking management program for Downtown Flagstaff. The City administers the program in partnership with FLOWBIRD and has developed specific branding. The City is working to improve signage and the web presence to make parking fees, regulations and restrictions easy to understand for the general public. In high-demand areas Downtown, the City has instituted 1-hour paid parking for on- and off-street spaces at a rate of $1 per hour, 7-days a week. Payment for parking is accepted at multi-stall pay stations via the Whoosh! mobile app or with cash at City Hall or at select businesses Downtown. Resident and employee permits allow for long-term parking Downtown and additional resident and guest permits can be purchased online through the ParkFlag website. Flagstaff has coordinated program implementation with demand reduction measures, including free transit passes available through the ParkFlag program and a planned discount for regular bicycle commuters.

The program is designed to allow for flexible validation through the mobile app or as $1 discount from purchases at local businesses. Validation is in the process of being implemented. The ParkFlag program is less than a year old, but revenues are on pace to exceed the estimated one million dollars   in revenue the program was estimated to generate. A 20% share of revenue from the parking program is dedicated  to expanding parking supply including a public parking structure. Investing a portion of parking revenue in new parking facilities will allow Flagstaff to meet the changing needs of residents, workers and business owners as the City continues to grow.

RESULTS

“I was out of the country when the kiosks were installed,” resident Way  Yuhl said in an email. “When  I returned to Flagstaff I was thrilled to be able to find convenient parking every time I was downtown. Before the introduction of paid parking it was extremely difficult to locate convenient parking downtown. Thus, in terms of the program creating parking for downtown customers, it appears to be successful. Presumably people are paying for parking, thus money is being generated for a future parking garage, another success for the program.”

 -Arizona Daily Sun

There’s more parking available in Downtown Flagstaff, with roughly 80% of spaces occupied at peak following implementation of paid parking. This summer will be the first with paid parking Downtown, and with a carefully managed parking system, more parking will be available for visitors downtown. With average daily revenue surpassing estimates by nearly 10%, and expected to outperform projected revenue by 20-30% during the tourist season, the City is planning for a new park-and-ride in addition  to the planned public parking structure.

Residents and business owners agree — it’s easier to find parking with paid parking Downtown. The program has received broad support from the business community. 95% of local business owners had a favorable opinion of the ParkFlag team and the plan that is currently being implemented. Successful deployment of a smart parking system in Flagstaff has helped maximize the City’s downtown parking resources, support improved mobility, and has served as the foundation for a rewarding partnership between FLOWBIRD and the City of Flagstaff.

Posted: 29 Jun 18

The Borough of Jim Thorpe is excited to announce that on Monday June 18, 2018, 7 new Solar-powered StradaPAL pay stations will be installed and ready to use on Broadway, Hazard Square and Susquehanna Street.  Patrons can pay with coin, cash, credit card of through the “Whoosh” mobile phone application. 

According to police Chief Joe Schatz, all necessary training has been completed and everything is in place to begin using Flowbird’s Parkeon StradaPAL solar-powered kiosks, which will replace the borough’s 77 old coin-operated meters.

Butts Ticket Company, a Flowbird Group partner, installed seven StradaPAL machines throughout Broadway, Hazard Square and Susquehanna Street in late April, however, they have been covered up as the borough makes the transition.

“On Monday, there will be ambassadors here in town to help individuals get acclimated to the kiosks and, in particular, explain how the mobile app, Whoosh, that accompanies the machines, works,” Schatz said.

Whoosh! is a mobile parking payment solution app development by Flowbird. The app allows the user to pay for parking directly through their mobile device, including time expiration reminders and remote parking extension.

After motorists park, they can follow signs to the kiosk stations and pay with cash, quarters, credit card or the app. Once the machine dispenses a ticket, the motorist can place it on their dash and be on their way.

“The nice thing is in addition to being able to use credit and debit cards, customers can add time from the Whoosh mobile phone application if they are out on the go,” Schatz said. “They no longer have to run back to the meter to feed it.”

According to Mayor Mike Sofranko, the older meter mechanisms will be sold or auctioned off.

Throughout next week, Jim Thorpe Public Works employees will be removing the old parking meters as well as erecting new parking signs.

For more information on the Whoosh app, or how to download it, visit https://www.whooshstore.com.

Posted: 18 Jun 18

Contract to save cities from going through individual bidding process

Flowbird Group, the name of recently merged parking and transit leaders, Parkeon and Cale, has been chosen by the State of Washington as an approved vendor for single and multi-space parking meter systems for all government entities and public benefit non-profits within the State.

Through a competitive solicitation for parking payment systems, conducted in partnership with the State of Washington Department of Enterprise Services, agencies in the State of Washington can contract directly with Flowbird. Due to the signing of Washington State Master Contract # 04417, state entities may now forego performing individual bidding processes for parking system services.

This contract is open to a broad spectrum of agencies including:

  • State Agencies
  • State Boards,
  • State Commissions
  • Higher Education Institutions
  • Offices of Separate Elected Officials
  • Local Government Agencies
  • Federal Agencies
  • Washington State Tribal Entities
  • Public Benefit Non-profits

These agencies can choose from a wide range of Flowbird products, from both the Cale and Parkeon lines, to help manage their paid parking or admission pass systems. The contract includes the latest models of Cale’s full-color CWT Touch, Parkeon’s StradaPAL with a 7” full-color display screen, and mobile payment apps such as Whoosh! and WaytoPark.

Agencies can also take advantage of a host of Flowbird CLOUD services such as reporting, advanced Data Analytics, mapping, City news, localized coupons, text reminders, and citation payment at the meter.

The State of Washington Department of Enterprise Services went through a thorough evaluation process including a Request for Information, Request for Proposals, and vendor interviews. The evaluation committee was made up of State of Washington governmental agencies.

“We are extremely pleased about becoming an approved vendor for the State of Washington,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America. “This collective procurement will allow entities throughout the State to improve their parking operations quickly and benefit from the most advanced technology roadmap using a quality parking system that has gone through an exhaustive vetting process.”

Currently, Flowbird supports over 40,000 parking pay stations for 600 customers throughout the U.S.  This project allows the company to continue its rapid expansion across the State of Washington where Flowbird already provides solutions for more than 30 clients.  The contract began on May 8th, 2018 for a period of 6 years

 

Posted: 18 Jun 18

On June 6th, 2018, a panel of criteria judges awarded FLOWBIRD (previously Parkeon and Cale)with the Best of Show booth award. The prestigious honor is given to the booth that displays the most uniqueness, effectiveness of marketing, message, and creativity.

This year, Flowbird harmonized both product lines, Parkeon and Cale, displaying what will currently be offered under the new company name. They also unveiled new systems that mark today’s urban mobility strategies, including the EKO Kiosk and StreetSmart Parking System.

Adding to the innovation, the team at FLOWBIRD provided entertainment taking homage to the company’s new name, setting up a virtual-reality interactive bird flying experience, ‘Birdly.’ Attendees at IPI soared through the streets of New York City and Hong Kong, using a full body simulator to let the rider conquer the sky.

While the VR experience offered immersed, interactive entertainment, the ride was a true reflection of what the new company name stands for. Inspired by the ease with which each bird moves quickly and safely within a cloud of birds, the name FLOWBIRD symbolizes our ambition to make individual movements simpler, safer, faster, while collectively maximizing efficiency and harmonizing flows.

   

   

 

Posted: 08 Jun 18

The reliability of parking terminals across the Isle of Wight is set to improve, thanks to a decision by Island Roads to replace its ageing meter estate with new solar-powered technology from Flowbird.

Friday, May 11, 2018 11:04 AM

Island Roads is responsible for the island’s highways network and associated services, and recently opted to install 40 energy-efficient Flowbird Parkeon Strada Rapid parking terminals as part of a programm that will see the renewal of 139 machines by 2020.

David Wallis, Island Roads’ Operations and Maintenance Manager, said: “The new meters will be more reliable than the models they are replacing, some of which were nearing the end of their serviceable life and required an increasing amount of maintenance.

“The replacement programm will therefore reduce instances of meters being out of use and because more are solar powered, less energy will be consumed.”

The new Flowbird terminals are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than the non-Flowbird technology being replaced, thanks to built-in solar power. They are linked to Flowbird's Parkeon Smartfolio central management system, which enables the terminals to be monitored remotely and parking and payment data to be analyzed to inform the council’s future parking strategy.

Posted: 14 May 18

UC Davis Health Newsroom – March 28, 2018

New fare machines, app to save drivers time

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Get ready for some new technologies in parking areas around the Sacramento campus. Over the coming year, Parking and Transportation Services will be rolling out high-tech machines and smartphone apps to ease the parking payment process for employees, patients and visitors. It’s all designed to make things easier and more efficient for everyone who parks.

Starting March 28, drivers will see the new Parkeon machines in patient/visitor Lots 1, 3 and 8, and in employee Lots 14, 16, 18, and 25 (for those employees who pay by the day).

parking

The technology requires you to pay by entering the car’s license plate number at the machine, with no need to then walk back to vehicle to place a ticket on the dashboard or windshield. Your license plate is your parking pass. The new system will print receipts upon request. However, no permit will be printed, and none need to be displayed.

The machines also are used in downtown Sacramento, at the Amtrak station, and at the airport, so drivers may already be familiar with them.

Of course, it’s important to know or write down your license plate number before walking over to the parking machine. Parking officials emphasized that it’s important to enter the vehicle’s license plate number accurately or risk a citation. They also noted that all license plate information will remain within UC Davis Health and only used for payment purposes. It will not be shared with any other entities.

Whoosh! app turns smartphone into individual pay station
The new Parkeon pay-on-foot machines are just a first step.  Parking Services will soon launch a smartphone app for Android and iPhones called Whoosh!, which will enable drivers to create an account and pay for parking on their smartphones. Within the next few weeks, motorists will be able to pay while walking from their car to the office or an appointment, or even pay for parking before arriving at their destination. In addition, the app allows drivers to easily add more time to the virtual “meter” without going back to the parking lot.

Virtual permits are coming, too
By June, the new parking technologies will also include virtual parking permits for employees instead of the traditional physical placards. The systems will be integrated for online ease-of-use, including paying or appealing citations.

For more information, visit the Parking and Transportation Services webpage.

Posted: 09 May 18

New system replaces meters and allows credit card usage

The City of Nashua Parking Department is excited to announce the new pay by space parking pay station at the Nashua Public Library, which was installed on May 1.  The single-space meters have been removed and new signage with space numbers has been installed using the existing posts for each parking space.

The pay station has been installed on the walkway near the book drop. The city plans to use the removed meters for repairs and/or to replace existing single/double space meters located throughout downtown to allow for more efficiency in parking operations.

The city purchased the new pay station from CALE America, Inc. who the city contracted with five years ago for the initial purchase of the 16 pay and display pay stations on Main Street and four pay by space pay stations in the Elm Street and High Street parking garages.  The CALE America, Inc. pay station system has proven to be user-friendly and easy for the city to maintain over the past five years.

Similarly to the pay stations located on Main Street and in both the city’s municipal garages, the reloadable parking card will not be accepted at the new pay station. However, customers will now have the option to pay for parking with a credit card.  As with the city’s existing pay stations, there will be a $1.00 minimum charge for credit card purchases.

Posted: 07 May 18

Flowbird Group, the name of recently merged parking and transit leaders, Parkeon and Cale, has announced that is has begun implementing a new Pay by Space parking system for the City of Ventura, California. Fifty nine new parking pay stations will replace old pay stations that had outdated software and faced imminent non-compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

The Ventura City Council approved funding to purchase replacement pay stations in September of 2017 after it was apparent that the current meters would no longer remain in compliance with credit card industry security and liability standards.

In October of 2017, the Downtown Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC) of Ventura received a total of 5 proposals for new pay stations; all with products currently contracted in various cities in California. Based on the committee’s evaluation, Flowbird’s Parkeon StradaPAL Pay Station, was rated highest based on speed, price and reliability.  

“The City of Ventura chose Flowbird’s Parkeon pay stations because they are quick, reasonably priced, reliable, functional and have the ability to integrate well with our existing system,” said Jeff Hereford P.E., T.E., Principal Civil Engineer for the City of Ventura. “They also meet the latest PCI standards.”

Flowbird’s Pay by Space system will be integrated with the City’s citation management system provided by Data Ticket.  The status of each space (paid or unpaid) will be communicated from the Flowbird system to the Data Ticket system so enforcement officers know, in real-time, which vehicles are not in compliance.  From the Data Ticket interface, officers can then issue a citation if necessary.

In addition to helping control where vehicles park, the new system will help the City improve its infrastructure.  Net revenue from the parking system will go towards other projects in the downtown area.

“We are extremely pleased to have been chosen as the preferred system supplier for this exciting project,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America.  “We look forward to providing the citizens in Ventura with an easy-to-use, secure parking solution.”

Currently, Flowbird supports over 40,000 parking pay stations for 600 customers throughout the U.S.  This project allows the company to continue its rapid expansion in Southern California.  The company expects the system to be deployed by the end of April.

Posted: 26 Apr 18
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