City Council Meeting: November 9, 2010

Agenda Item: 3-F

To:               Mayor and City Council

From:           Carol Swindell, Finance Director

Subject:        Pay-On-Foot Machines for City Parking Facilities



Recommended Action

Staff recommends that City Council authorize the City Manager to award a sole source purchase order to Sentry Control Systems Inc., in an amount not to exceed $1,180,000 for seventeen Ski Data pay-on-foot machines at City parking facilities.

Executive Summary


The 2009 Walker Parking Study identified a series of improvements to downtown parking operations to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of the program including the installation of automated payment equipment. The installation of automated payment equipment in structures 7 and 8 resulted in reduced exit wait times, better revenue control and a more positive customer experience. The purchase of additional automated payment equipment at a cost of $1,180,000 will further the City’s goals to improve parking operation and is expected to save approximately $450,000 per year in parking operator contractor staffing costs.




Currently, the City operates twelve off-street parking facilities in the downtown and Civic Center area.  Since 2000, the City has purchased a Ski Data payment system for parking structures and the Civic Center lot and Digital Payment Technology pay-by-space machines for City parking lots. The use of the two systems provides Parking Operations staff the ability to consolidate reporting and revenue control functions and implement related operations recommendations found in the 2009 Walker Parking Study.




The downtown parking structures and Civic Center parking locations are currently equipped with Ski Data parking equipment and a limited number of pay-on-foot machines that only accept credit cards. Parking Structures 7 and 8 are equipped with fully automated, multi-function pay-on-foot machines that accept both cash and credit cards. The successful implementation of the automated parking system in Parking Structures 7 and 8 has allowed staff to test the operations of fully automated facilities. The equipment purchased as part of this action will provide for the automation of all downtown and Civic Center parking facilities with machines that accept cash, credit card and other payment mechanisms the City may implement in the future.


The successful implementation to an automated parking payment system will allow the parking facilities to be operated on a 24/7 basis, as reflected in the Council adopted parking rates, and will eliminate the staffing now required at exit points.  Parking customers will have the option to pay parking fees at several pay-on-foot machines within the structures or at exit.  As a result of improved egress traffic, vehicle traffic flow throughout the garage would improve for those entering.  The transition to an automated payment facility would provide an enhanced experience for visitors and residents.


Vendor Selection

The Ski Data system was selected as part of a competitive process in 2000. Sentry Control Inc. is the exclusive Ski Data parking access and revenue control equipment authorized distributor in West Coast. The City currently has Ski Data systems and pay-on-foot machines in twelve locations and only Ski Data pay-on-foot machines are compatible with existing equipment components. The system will also increase the efficiency of the operations and maintenance of the equipment; parking operation staff will be able to program and operate the machines remotely for all off-street parking facilities in a centralized control office. This will ensure the public has a consistent parking experience and allows the City to produce consolidated parking reports. Compatibility of these new machines with existing inventory is of paramount consideration.


Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

Funds are included in the FY 10/11 budget for this purchase at account C774057.589000 (Civic Center Parking Automation) and C774058.589000 (Downtown Parking Automation). Funds for ongoing maintenance will be requested in each annual budget cycle for council approval. The automation of the downtown and Civic Center structures is anticipated to save $450,000 per year in parking operator labor costs.



Prepared by: Frank Ching, Parking Coordinator




Forwarded to Council:






Carol Swindell

Director, Finance Department


Rod Gould

City Manager