meteringUP with Sue Cornell
By now we’re sure you’ve heard about, or have used, our new mobile parking app meterUP. But how about the person who actually brought the innovation to Philly?
Meet Sue Cornell, our Senior Director of Administration and Strategic Planning.
In January 2007, Cornell began her career with the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) as Manager of Government Relations. Soon thereafter — and after a little shuffling of the PPA staffing structure — Cornell was thrusted into a new role, Director of Customer Service. From there, Cornell became an “encyclopedia’ of sorts for the PPA.
“When I became Director of Customer Service, it was there I realized the full scope and size of the PPA’s operations,” she says. “It’s so much more than just issuing parking tickets.”
During her time as Director of Customer Service, Cornell ushered in quite a bit of change. It’s something she’s very proud of.
“It was always rewarding to resolve an issue for someone. The best thing about being Director of Customer Service was that it was a position to help, assist and inform people,” she explains.
“That’s why we had expanded our customer service department, which lead to better coordination among other departments.”
During her time as Director of Customer Service, Cornell was able to assist countless individuals with many issues, but there was one instance that stands out from the bunch.
“Years after helping someone who had their vehicle impounded, I actually got an email from that person’s mother. Apparently at the time I had been helping her son, he had been going through somewhat of a rough patch,” she recalls.
“I still tear up when thinking about it, especially considering she reached out to me years later and expressed her appreciation.”
Though Cornell is proud of her work as Director of Customer Service, her biggest task came in November 2015 as Senior Director of Administration and Strategic Planning.
That’s because in November 2015, Cornell oversaw one of the PPA’s most important projects to date: launching our mobile parking payment app, meterUP.
“Our main goal throughout the entire process was to provide visitors and residents a very user-friendly mobile payment service at the most minimal cost.”
If you use meterUP, you remotely pay for parking sessions from any phone. But most notably, users only incur only a one cent convenience fee for each transaction, which is a far lower fee than other cities (up to 25 cents in some cases) offering similar services.
“Our goal in the coming months is to implement the service city-wide. But there’s also other possibilities that we’re looking into,” she says. “But our goal for right now is to bring the service to all of Philadelphia.”
The monumental task of bringing such an innovation to Philadelphia will be long remembered by Cornell considering that, well, she was the project manager.
“This has been the biggest project I’ve encountered at the [PPA]. There was so much coordination that was needed within all of our departments and outside vendors.”
When meterUP starts rolling out the app city-wide, that coordination will most definitely be rehashed. But until then, meterUP is still only available in a select pilot area, which is highlighted by this interactive map.