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#TBT: 11th and Market Street Park & Lock Garage

#TBT 11th and Market StreetsRemember a few months ago when we took a look at the grand opening of our Edison Park and Lock Garage? Well, we’re back again!

In 1961, the Edison Park and Lock Garage officially opened to the public, but it wasn’t until 1962 that the garage was officially complete. In the picture to the left, construction workers put on the finishing touches as they meticulously raised a 38 foot sign to the roof. Once the garage was complete, it housed 500 parking spaces on 11th and Market Streets.

Obviously as times  change, so do the parking rates. Just take a look at the sign. The going rate for half-hour parking was only 15 cents!

Nowadays you won’t see the garage on 11th and Market Streets. Instead you’ll see entrances to the soon-to-be renovated Gallery at Market East. In fact, a few blocks away you’ll also notice our 8th & Filbert garage is undergoing a much anticipated transformation! Also, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out the discounts we currently offer at our AutoParks!

Once again, we’d like to thank Margery Sly, Director of the Special Collections Research Center at Temple University, for sharing these pieces of Philadelphia Parking Authority history with us.

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PPA Airport Operations 10th Anniversary

Airport Economy LotIf you live in the greater Philadelphia area, you’ve probably flown out of the Philadelphia International Airport

(PHL). But before you checked in your luggage and made a beeline to your gate, where did you leave your car? Well, if you didn’t take SEPTA, there’s a good chance you parked with us before taking to the skies.

For the past 10 years, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) has operated the PHL’s parking facilities. From the very moment the PPA began operating PHL’s parking, our airport staff has strived to provide convenient, affordable and hassle-free parking — and they’ve done just that.

Let’s take a look at the improvements we’ve made in the past 10 years.

Economy Parking:

Ten years ago our airport economy lots held roughly 4,100 parking spaces. Yeah — that seems like a lot, doesn’t it? But guess how many they hold now? Well if you add 3,000 to 4,100, you’ll get your answer. That’s right: We’ve expanded the economy lots by 3,000 spaces in 10 years. Believe it or not, our economy lots offer more than just parking. Check out everything our economy parking has to offer here.

Technological Enhancements:

Aside from adding parking spaces, we’ve also beefed up our use of new technologies that weren’t available a decade ago. By using these new technologies, we’ve greatly enhanced customer service experiences and cut back on paper usage by printing 30,000 less tickets per month!

Credit Card In and Out

Some of our enhancements include ways to get you in and out of the parking lots faster. At our airport parking facilities, lines are a thing of the past. Why? Well, in addition to using Google Wallet, we also offer a credit card in and out service. It’s simple: When entering our airport parking facilities, just have your credit card ready. At the entrance, insert the credit card into the ticket issuing machine. When exiting, just head to a Self-Service Credit Only automated lane and insert the same credit card. Also, if you have a contact-free enabled credit card, just hold the card about three inches from the vertical reader built into the ticket issuing machine and patron interface box at the exit. After that, the gates will lift and boom — you’re on your merry way.

Real-time Garage Parking Availability

It’s always great to know what you’re walking into, or in this case driving into, right? Well, another technological enhancement we’ve added is our real-time garage parking availability system. The PPA website is updated every 15 minutes, so drivers can check space availability before entering our airport garages. That way you’ll be able to make your flight without wandering around aimlessly looking for a parking spot.

License Plate Recognition (LPR)

The final enhancement we’ll highlight is the LPR. Sometimes when you’re gone for an extended period of time, you might forget where you parked your car. Trust us, with over 7,000 spaces, we understand it’s easy to forget where you parked. With the LPR, we can keep track of the exact spot you parked in. LPR technology works because cameras at the entrances of the parking facilities capture every license plate of every vehicle that enters. Then, the LPR software registers that information into the PPA’s database, so we can pull that information if needed. So if you forget where you parked after a long flight, let one of our team members know and we’ll locate your car!

Sure, we’re proud of expanding our economy lot and adding the tech features. But what are we most proud of? Our dedicated airport staff who made it happen — in only 10 years.

Frank Ragozzino, Director of Airport Operations, sums it up by saying, “I’m most proud of the workforce. It was a monumental task to take on operating at the airport. There were a number of issues we had to resolve and a lot of folks here were apprehensive when we took over airport operations. People were afraid they would lose their jobs.”

Frank continues, “It took a lot of hard work in making employees aware of the policies. We couldn’t go in there like gangbusters. We wanted to let them know they are part of, not to sound corny, the PPA family.

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#TBT: Another Trip to the Rittenhouse Square Garage

#TBT Rittenhouse SketchIf you saw last month’s #TBT, you took a stroll into the past and saw the opening ceremony for our old Rittenhouse Square Garage. This time around, we’re taking a glance at an artist’s sketch before it was built.

Before excavation began on February 10, 1953, this artist rendering gave a near perfect glimpse of what the Rittenhouse Square Garage would look like. Nowadays, the garage is still nestled at 18th and Walnut Streets right across from Philly’s treasured Rittenhouse Square Park. So the next time you’re at the Rittenhouse Farmers Market or taking your dog for a walk in the park, glance over to 18th and Walnut Streets.

There you have it. Another trip down the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s (PPA) memory lane. While you’re here check out the discounts we offer at our current garages!

And yet again, we’d like to thank Margery Sly, Director of the Special Collections Research Center at Temple University, for continuing to share pieces of PPA history with us.

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Parking Violations Branch FAQs

ppa-photoHave you ever had to make a trip to our Parking Violations Branch (PVB)? If so, it was probably because you had to pay for a parking ticket. Or maybe you needed to pay towing and impoundment fees. We know — it probably wasn’t the highlight of your day. But we want to make sure your trip to the PVB is quick so you can go about your day.

How can we make your PVB trip quick? By answering your questions before arriving. So check out our PVB FAQs we’ve gathered below. But if you’re not getting answers, let’s hear your concerns on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll get you squared away.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed

Ticketing:

Question: I had my kiosk reciept on the dashboard; why did I receive a ticket?

Answer: If you received a violation and had your kiosk receipt in your vehicle, there are many reasons why you may have received a citation. Here are a few examples: it’s possible that the receipt flipped over when you closed your door, your time may have expired, or perhaps, due to inclement weather, the expired time was simply illegible.

 

Question: I received an inspection expired violation, but I have proof that my car was inspected. What should I do?

Answer: If you received an expired inspection violation, you must send in a copy of your Emissions Report (which can be obtained from your mechanic) using any of the options listed here.

 

Question: Is there a statute of limitations on parking tickets?

Answer: There are no statute of limitations for parking tickets.

 

Question: How many tickets can I receive before my car registration is suspended?

Answer: Vehicle must have six or more open parking tickets issued within the last three years.

 

Question: How do I find out how many tickets I have?

Answer: There are three ways to find out how many tickets you have:

  1. Call the Parking Violations Branch at 1-888-591-3636. This is an automated system so be sure to use the following prompts to reach a representative: 1, 4, 5 and 1 again.
  2. Email customer.service@PRWT.com or reach out to us via Twitter or Facebook.
  3. Send your inquiry to the City of Philadelphia, P.O Box 41818, Philadelphia, PA 19101.

 

Ticket Payment and Contesting Options:

Question: What forms of payment do you take?

Answer: We accept the following forms of payment:

  1. By mail: Parking Violations Branch, P.O. Box 41818 Philadelphia, PA 19101-1818. Check or money order should be made out to “City of Philadelphia” and include the ticket number being paid. Do not send your check to the Philadelphia Parking Authority. For your peace of mind, please do not mail cash.
  2. In person: Parking Violations Branch, 913 Filbert Street Philadelphia, PA 19107. Weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays between 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  3. By phone: Call (888) 591-3636 to pay by Visa, Mastercard or Check. After the voice response system introduction, press “1″ and have your credit card or bank account information ready. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please note there is a $3.50 processing fee for over the phone payments.
  4. Online: Payments may be submitted online here. Please note there is a $3.50 processing fee for online payments.

 

Question: How do I get on a payment plan?

Answer: You may qualify for a payment plan if you are unable to pay in full. Call 888-591-3636 for more information. In general, the amount owed must be over $125, you must make a down payment of 25% and you must provide an eligible credit card, debit card or checking account from which automated monthly payments can be electronically withdrawn. The minimum monthly payment is $20 and the maximum term is 12 months.

 

Question: Where can I pay a Red Light Ticket?

Answer: If the Red Light Violation is not past-due, you have four ways to make a payment.

  1. By mail: To the address that is on both Notices’ of Violation.
  2. In person: At 45 N. 8th Street
  3. Over the phone: 1-844-248-0449.
  4. Online: Red Light Violations under 30 days old can be paid here. Please Note: To make online or over the phone payments, you will need your Notice Number and your PIN.

 

If the violation has gone past-due, you have four ways to make payment.

  1. By mail: To Parking Violations Branch, P.O. Box 41819, Philadelphia, Pa 19101
  2. In Person: At 913 Filbert Street
  3. Over the phone: 1-888-591-3636.
  4. Online: Red Light Violations over 30 days old can be paid here.

 

Question: I want to contest a ticket, but am unable to in person. What are my options?

Answer: If you are unable to attend an in-person hearing, you have multiple options for contesting a ticket. Click here for more details.

 

Booting and Towing Questions:

Question: How many tickets do I need to get on the boot list?

Answer: If you accumulate three or more unpaid parking tickets, your vehicle is eligible to have one of our yellow metal boots attached to it.

 

Question: Why was my car towed right after being booted without giving me a chance to pay?

Answer: If your vehicle was towed right after being booted, it could have been due to obstruction of rush hour traffic or because it was simply parked in a tow-away zone. For more information pertaining to booting and towing, please visit the Laws & Enforcement section of our website.

 

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Ticket to Drive: What Every Driver in Philadelphia Needs to Know About Parking Violations

Violation PicWhen you have coffee with friends, you normally chat about the weather, weekend plans or hobbies. Parking tickets? Not so much. We know ticketing isn’t everyone’s favorite topic, but there are some things that Philadelphia drivers need to know about parking violations. To get the parking ticket chat started, we’ve put together a list of things drivers need to know about tickets.

Parking Enforcement Officers only patrol during certain times of the day.

Believe it or not, our officers do not patrol 24/7.  You’ll catch the PEOs on their beat during the following hours:

6:00 AM to 10:30 PM Monday – Wednesday

6:00 AM to 12:00 AM Thursday

6:00 AM to 3:00 AM Friday

6:30 AM to 3:00 AM Saturday

7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Sunday

We are one of multiple entities that issue parking tickets.

Yes, you read that right; we’re not the only organization issuing parking tickets! Check out the list below for other ticket issuing agencies:

  • Philadelphia Police Department
  • Septa Police
  • University of Pennsylvania Police
  • Temple University Police
  • Center City District Police
  • Postal Police
  • Philadelphia Housing Authority
  • Fairmount Park Police

You have the right to contest any ticket.

If you want to contest a ticket, there are a number of ways to do it. Read about contesting a violation here.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about a ticket or violation, you can contact us on Facebook and Twitter.

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RFP # 15-01 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Philadelphia International Airport

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is being issued by the Parking Authority (the “Authority”). The Authority is soliciting written proposals from qualified vendors to procure and install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the Philadelphia International Airport . The sole contact at the Authority shall be Mary Wheeler, Manager of Contract Administration, 701 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 or email at contracts@philapark.org.

RFP No. 15-01 Notice to Proposers

RFP No. 15-01 EV Charging Stations at PHL

 

#TBT: Rittenhouse Square Parking Garage

TBT Rittenhouse Square GarageBy now we’re sure you’ve noticed we like taking a glance into the past. It’s always enlightening to briefly glimpse backward to realize the how times changed.

As we sifted through vintage pictures of the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s (PPA) history for this month’s #TBT, we came across this one. And no — that’s not Uncle Fester with the blowtorch; it’s former PPA Chairman, Francis J. Chesterman.

In December 1953, the PPA opened its doors to the Rittenhouse Square Garage at 1845 Walnut Street. Flanked by Managing Director, Howard T. Scott (left) and Mayor Joseph S. Clark, Jr. (right),  Chesterman  officially opened the garage for public use. The garage took less than a year to complete and it’s still standing strong to this day. In fact, now it’s a privately-owned valet parking garage for apartments in Rittenhouse Square.

So there you have it — another peak into the PPA’s history. In the future, check out what our current garages have to offer. Many of them offer parking discounts and are convenient for when you need to park in Center City, Old City and other popular areas of the city.

Yet again, we’d like to thank Margery Sly, Director of the Special Collections Research Center at Temple University, for allowing us to share another gem of the PPA’s history.

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PEO Spotlight: Peter Free

Peter FreeWe all have a story. It’s what makes us unique and different from one another. The bus driver who gets you to work — he has a story. The street vendors who make your breakfast sandwiches? They have a story. Our Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs)? Yep — they all have a story too.

Here’s a brief story of Peter Free, a Northeast Philly native who became a PEO less than a year ago.

Before becoming a PEO, Free graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2014 as a music major.

“I play the trombone and double bass very well,” he says in a more than confident tone.

In fact, when he’s not walking his beats, Free is a private music teacher. But what instruments does he teach?

“I teach all of them and I play in three different orchestras when they need me and if I’m available.”

Aside from being a musical prodigy, Free primarily walks his beats around City Hall. And just like any PEO, he has to issue tickets — something he’d rather not do.

“There’s a stigma that PEOs are out to get you,” says Free. “But we’re not out there just to give tickets. We’re out there to educate, inform and if we need to, write a ticket.”

Just like all PEOs, Free is approachable while walking his beats.

If you’re parking in the city and have a question, come on up and ask us. We don’t mind explaining what the signs mean and where you can or cannot park.”

When Free isn’t walking his beats or teaching the next Mozart, he prefers to just take it easy, just like the rest of us.

“My favorite TV show is the Simpsons, so I try to watch them or a movie  whenever I can. I’ve also started playing League of Legends,” Free says. “In the long-run, it’s always nice just to relax and prepare for the day ahead.”

And prepare he must. The winter weather is upon us and Free along with all PEOs will be walking beats in freezing temperatures, which is why he’ll probably be looking forward to his lunch breaks to get a bit warmed up.

“Depending on the beat I’m walking, I’ll either to go Underdogs, Joe’s Pizza or Subway with other PEOs.”  

So if you’re dining at Joe’s Pizza or Underdogs, don’t be surprised if you bump into Free and his fellow PEOs. In fact, it’d be a good time to ask them questions because remember: PEOs don’t just issue tickets, they also inform the public.

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#TBT : AutoPark at the Gallery

#TBT AutoPark at the Gallery MallIf you’ve ever visited Chinatown or have gone shopping at The Gallery, you’ve more than likely gotten a glimpse of our  AutoPark at the Gallery Mall, which is the subject of this month’s #TBT!

Located at 44 North 9th Street, the AutoPark at the Gallery Mall houses 850 parking spaces and is only blocks away from Philly’s renowned Reading Terminal Market. Between Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown, you’re parking in a main hub for amazing Philly delicacies.

So after you’re done stuffing your faces, you can take the five minute stroll to the Convention Center or get shopping done at The Gallery. Either way — your car will be safe, sound and awaiting your return.

Let’s take a look into the past. The picture above is an artist’s sketch of the AutoPark at Gallery Mall from 1960. The garage itself was designed by architectural firm, Henry D. Dagit P. C. They clearly did a great job because it’s standing strong and will be for years to come!

Once again, Margery Sly, Director of the Special Collections Research Center at Temple University, is allowing us to share this gem of a picture.

 

 

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A Small History Lesson About the Philadelphia Parking Authority

PPA HistoryIt can be confusing to understand under what power the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) operates. City? State? Act of God? Plenty of questions — so, here is a brief outline about how the Parking Authority came about and our role in the city. Hopefully this clears up a bit of confusion!

The PPA was created on January 11, 1950 by an Ordinance of Philadelphia City Council pursuant to an act of General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted in 1947.

In 1982, the City of Philadelphia assigned responsibility for the management of on-street parking resources to the PPA. Then in 1983, functions previously performed by six City departments were transferred to the PPA, including:

  • Developing and posting parking regulations
  • Installation, maintenance and collection of revenue from parking meters
  • Issuing Residential Parking Permits
  • Issuing, processing and collecting revenue from parking tickets
  • Towing and impounding illegally parked vehicles.
  • Booting scofflaw vehicles

Under the terms of the Agreements, all net program revenue was transferred to the City of Philadelphia. On February 10, 2005, the Governor signed Act 9 of 2005, which established a formula by which net revenue from the on-street parking program is split between the City of Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia.

The fun fact in this history lesson: The PPA is governed by a Board composed of six members who are appointed to ten-year terms by the Governor of Pennsylvania (Act 22 of 2001). Our current Board members are:

  • Joseph Ashdale – Chairman
  • Alfred Taubenberger – Vice-Chair/Secretary
  • Karen Wrigley, OD – Assistant Secretary
  • Al Schmidt – Board Member
  • Andrew Stutzman, Esquire – Board Member
  • Russell Wagner, CPA – Board Member

 

Photo Credit: Howzeman Via Flickr

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