City of Aurora Marries MIFARE and Pay-by-Plate for Metra Commuters
One-Step Contactless Card Transactions Key to Catching the Train on Time!
AURORA, IL – May 16, 2016 – Cale America Inc., a leading supplier of payment technology for parking and transportation, has announced its first US installation of MIFARE contactless card technology paired with license plate based payments in the City of Aurora, IL. Installed and supported by Cale’s distribution partner, Total Parking Solutions, Inc., the new system allows Metra commuters to simply tap their Aurora MIFARE card and instantly pay for parking as they head to the train. The payment and parking session are linked to the vehicle license plate number which is stored on the MIFARE card.
Joe Hopp, Superintendent of Maintenance Services for the City of Aurora explained that commuters love the convenience. “We have had almost 50,000 MIFARE card transactions since the program began in October last year. Adoption of the contactless cards has grown at a rapid pace,” said Joe. “Customers are now able to reload the cards easily at any pay station, and we expect many more commuters will prefer the convenience of tapping their card and getting on the train.”
Stored vehicle plate information on the MIFARE card eliminates customer input errors greatly speeds up the transaction process. These benefits are important to customers in a hurry, especially when the weather is bad. There are also savings to the city in cost of operation. “Using contactless technology means quicker interaction with the parking meter and eliminating user error in entering the plate information.” explained Andreas Jansson, President of Cale America Inc. “Since there is no need to insert the MIFARE card into a slot or manually enter a plate number, the technology works great in snowy or sunny conditions and there is less equipment to service or clean.”
Commuters can obtain a pre-paid MIFARE parking card in person at Motor Vehicle Parking Division office, located at 44 E. Downer Place, or by downloading and mailing a completed card Application Form. The initial cost is $48, which includes an $8 fee for the card and $40 credit for parking. The card can then be reloaded inside the ticket agency lobby or at any Cale meter at the Route 59 station up to a $40 limit per reload.
The City plans to add additional MIFARE card readers to its Transportation Center pay stations as well later this year.
About Cale America
Cale Group incorporates over 60 years of experience in the design and development of secure and innovative payment solutions for unattended parking and transit locations with cloud-based management applications. Headquartered in Kista, Sweden, the Cale Group has subsidiaries in ten countries and a network of partners in over 30 countries worldwide. Cale America Inc. was established in 2012 and is Cale’s largest subsidiary with systems installed in over 200 municipalities, campuses and privately-managed properties throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.
Andreas Jansson, President
Cale America Inc.
13808 Monroes Business Park, Tampa, Florida 33635 USA
INDIANAPOLIS—As part of a five-year plan to replace aging meters, the ParkHouston program is introducing new multi-space pay stations with enhanced speed and capabilities.
This week, parkers will see around 90 new meters on Houston streets, with another 166 being installed in March. The meters—T2 Systems’ Digital Luke II multi-space pay stations—employ cutting-edge technology that will make parking easier as well as enhance operation for the City.
Houston’s purchase of the Luke II pay stations, a significant contract for T2, was approved by the City Council on Oct. 15 after the city used several of the meters in trial form during 2015. Houston manages 9,200 parking spaces with the help of its multi-space pay stations.
The Luke II meter provides a better experience because it lets parkers associate their payment with their license plate number. With “pay-by-plate,” a parker no longer has to walk back to their car to put a receipt on the dashboard. This ability was a driving factor in Houston’s decision to go with T2.
“This is really going to improve the customer experience,” said Assistant Director of ParkHouston Maria Irshad. “Customers will now just be able to get on their way after paying for parking.”
In the rollout, teams of ambassadors will walk the areas where new meters are in place to teach parkers how to pay-by-plate. Additionally, parkers who use a mobile app to pay will also now be able to extend their parking session via text message. This is another service that “will take the aggravation out of parking,” Irshad said.
The speed of the Luke II pay stations is also a key enhancement for the City. During trials the meters performed 50 percent faster than the older model. The improved modem technology in the pay stations will also boost monitoring and maintenance.
The new meters also feature a paper jam sensor, a must in Houston’s humid climate and an element the City worked with T2 to develop. Previously, after a hard rain, parking staff had to visit many of the meters to check for and clear paper jams caused by humidity. “With the new sensor, we’ll see a decrease in customer complaints and an increase in operational efficiency,” said Irshad.
“We were proud to partner with Houston, continuing our 10-year relationship with them to make parking easier for citizens and management easier for the City,” said Chris Chettle, T2 Executive Vice President of Product & Manufacturing. “We are always looking for ways to augment our customers’ parking operations and Houston provided us a great opportunity.”
“Our meters were working for us, they were just getting old, as any technology does,” Irshad said. “When we purchased them in 2005, we were still using flip phones. That’s how quickly technology changes. We needed to upgrade. At the end of the day, parking meters are a piece of technology and need to be refreshed as such.”
Started in 1994, T2 Systems is a technology-focused parking systems provider with deep roots in the evolving parking industry. This commitment is evident in T2’s quality products and services, thought leadership and strong customer relationships. The company’s unified parking management and payment solutions provided under the T2 and Digital brands are in use by over 1,100 organizations across the US and Canada including universities, cities, towns, hospitals and parking operators. T2 has offices in Indianapolis, Vancouver and virtual offices throughout North America. For additional information about T2 products and services, visit www.T2systems.com.