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Parking Made E-Z By Michael Kolb


From Maine to Florida, from Illi- nois to Texas and California, the


transponder-based collection system has become synonymous with the fast and hassle-free way to pay for tolls. However, less-well-known is the


combination toll/parking system that allows customers who have a credit card associated with their account to pay for parking at suit- ably equipped facilities. The first parking facility at


which that feature was deployed in the Northeast was at Albany (NY) International Airport in November 2001, nearly 10 years ago. Since then, it has been deployed at numerous park- ing facilities across the country. Compared to the toll system itself,


the add-on feature has been slow to catch on in the parking industry. Of the nine


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facilities that accept it, six are owned or operated by major toll agencies. So, only three parking operators felt the need or desire to deploy this interesting feature. There are several reasons for this lack of interest – some valid, some less so.


There are several reasons for this lack of interest – some valid, some less so.


Never heard of it – Many people in


the region have never heard of this add- on feature. Other than a short mention on their websites, the toll agencies have his- torically not advertised it nor have they


sought out parking operators to imple- ment it.


Don’t know how to get started – In


the same vein as the people who are unfa- miliar with parking using a transponder- based system, those parking operators that have heard of the solution often do not know whom to contact regarding the product and services. There is no actual company called E-ZPass (in the Northeast), SunPass (Florida), TollTag (Texas) or FasTrak (California). These are names used by the toll companies to market and brand their systems and are simply a trademark they use to indicate


they are part of a group that supports this interoperable toll system. Can be expensive to install – It’s true


that these systems can sometimes cost more to install than other transponder-


Parking Today www.parkingtoday.com


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