ATLANTA -- For motorists who have ever parked in Atlanta, they know the headache that comes with it.
Park Atlanta was contracted with the city from 2009 until March of 2017 as the chief parking enforcement. But over the years, a litany of complaints plagued the company – ultimately leading to its termination by Atlanta government.
But with a new company in place, can drivers expect a real difference? That’s the million-dollar question for many.
ATLPlus promises better customer service, new technology, and grace. So 11Alive spoke with those in-charge to find out how they plan to hold themselves to those words.
Predatory parking practices, broken machines, spaces or signage not clearly marked – these are just some of the issues that plagued Park Atlanta.
“We’re working hard to change the public’s perception and to gain your trust again through positive, friendly and supportive customer engagement,” Mayor Kasim Reed said.
ATL Plus is now taking over for the city of Atlanta. So, here’s what’s new:
First comes a grievance process. That means no more arguing with the attendant or tweeting the mayor.
“If a citizen receives a parking citation, the city will conduct the first level of ticket appeals via an in-house review process,” Reed said.
And if the citation isn’t resolved at that level, then the issue will be placed on the docket at municipal court.
Second comes a customer-friendly approach that includes a grace period of 10 minutes if you go over your time – or if you show up as the attendant is writing your citation.
Third, the company plans to offer new technology.
“As of today, you can download the park mobile app which features the ability to pay by phone and extend parking time without having to return to your vehicle or to a meter,” SP Plus Parking Regional Vice President Jason Spoeth said.
The new ATLPlus app will also alert drivers when they have 15 minutes remaining on their time. Customers can also call a “rapid response” team if they spot a broken meter. This team is expected to fix the meter – or any other issue – within 24 hours.
11Alive also wanted to know if parking attendants will receive incentives based on a number of tickets they write. The answer is simple: No.
On Wednesday, if drivers download the ATLPlus app, they can get free parking time.
11Alive has investigated aggressive ticketing practices by the outgoing company, Park Atlanta, since 2012. The investigation led to the city changing laws regarding wrongful tickets. The investigators also dug through 3 years of parking ticket data and found there were hot spots for ticketing in the city. In some, there were vehicles being ticketed every 45 seconds. The city also required better signage about parking – and a plan to fix broken meters.