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Washington State Parks offer a variety of amenities including camping, hiking, boating, picnicking, and more. In 2011, Washington State Parks faced a loss of funding from general state tax revenue and needed to find a way to increase operating revenues that would allow the 117 parks to remain open to the public. To make up for the lost funding, the Washington State legislature enacted a day-use permit and the annual “Discover Pass” for vehicles to enter state parks and recreational lands (campgrounds, parks, wildlife areas, trails, natural areas, wilderness areas and water-access points…).

Originally annual passes could be purchased only on the web, by phone, through vendors (stores), while renewing vehicle license tabs, and in park offices when staff were available. In parks, honor boxes were used to deliver day-use permits using cash or checks. With very specific goals to decrease free entries and increase sales while reducing staff time associated with selling passes and handling cash, Washington State Parks needed a low-cost solution to allow for easy admission. Washington State Parks turned to Parkeon, global leader in parking and transit solutions, to provide a cost effective solution to manage entry fees into the parks.

Parkeon's solutions

During the summer of 2012, 12 Parkeon Strada terminals were installed for a pilot program to allow park users to choose and purchase with a credit card, a day-use permit, an annual Discover Pass, a Sno-Park pass to park and have access to winter weather activities, a permit to launch boats at specific sites or donations.
Patrons are instructed to display their pass on their vehicle dashboard. Rangers enforce the admission by visually inspecting the vehicles.
The Strada terminals are solar powered allowing for operation without AC power. Constructed of heavy steel and engineered to be very secure, the Strada was the perfect choice to place in remote areas like the parks in Washington State.
Strada Pay Stations are wirelessly connected (with a few remote locations connected via Ethernet) to Parkeon’s myParkfolio back-office that allows them to be fully monitored at all times. This is a powerful tool for the Rangers and Park Supervisors because they get notified in real-time if there is an issue with one of the pay stations. Additionally, their staff is able to keep track of all revenues coming into the system.

The benefits

After the installation of the new pay stations, the parks gained better control of revenues because manpower was not needed to collect the fees and there was no risk of cash handling by the park staff.
Park goers were given a very convenient way to pay for park entry. Credit card usage is key to the success of the system because users do not have to worry about having cash while they travel the trails and enter any of the water access points.

  • § 380,000 additionnal revenue during the 1st year

  • 30,000 transactions in less than 4 months

  • 100% of payments coming via credit card