Dublin City leases latest-generation Pay & Display parking meters
Dublin City Council introduced Pay & Display parking in March 1998 as part of a major parking and enforcement policy. At the peak there were almost 1,200 meters, in the City, but with the introduction of bus lanes, cycle-ways, LUAS and other projects in the intervening years, the number of machines is now around 1,050.
In 2008, Dublin City began to replace the oldest meters with UTS / Parkeon STRADA Rapide meters. The Strada meter was selected in an evaluation process that sought to have a meter that could operate reliably and was capable of resisting ever-increasing and sophisticated attacks and vandalism. Since the first Strada were installed the levels of attacks have decreased and reliability has increased.
In 2015, UTS were awarded a single party framework contract that includes the leasing of latest generation STRADA terminals to Dublin City as well as supply of similar meters to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, South Dublin and Fingal Councils.
Kevin Meade – A/Parking Enforcement Officer with Dublin City Council explains that leasing the meters instead of purchasing was indeed a new approach by the Council. “Reduced capital budgets had halted our programme of meter replacements and we needed to look at how we could continue to modernise our meters” Kevin goes on to say “Our decision to enter an Operating Lease Agreement with UTS followed a lengthy competitive dialogue process of evaluation and comparative analysis and represented a new, if not radical, but ultimately logical way of procurement by the Council. We deliberated very carefully ensuring we were getting the right balance of value and service”.“The major benefit being that we pay a fixed cost for everything – meters, maintenance, tickets, back office services and all repairs regardless of cause”.
In summing the programme up, Kevin says “Going forward the City will have access to the latest technology such as live transaction reporting, a smart phone parking-guidance app, electronic key tracking and enhanced security of the machines with future options to add cashless contactless card payments. It also means that we are not locked into redundant technology and as new meters are developed these can be introduced seamlessly onto the streets. The back-office Management Information and fault reporting systems developed by UTS enable our Staff to run an array of complex reports simply and easily and was a major consideration when we were evaluating various systems.”
The first phase of installation of the new meters is well underway with further phases coming on stream in 2016 and beyond. The new meters are being installed in areas of highest turnover of spaces, where existing meters have reached their end of life and where there has been persistent vandalism and theft.
Declan Wallace, the Council’s Director of Traffic says “I welcome this new leasing arrangement as it will ensure that at all times we have access to the latest parking technology which in turn will optimise our ability to efficiently manage our parking resource”.
Jonathan Spring – CEO of UTS sees the Operating Lease model being adopted by other Local Authorities as a means of eliminating large up-front capital expenditure, risk and uncertainty. No capital tied up in a depreciating asset and the ability to adapt their parking programme to new technologies will be a major benefit to Local Authorities and Parking Operators alike.