Atlanta’s new parking plan includes 40 percent jump in fines, maybe 1,000 more meters

By David Pendered

Atlanta’s plan to fix its parking enforcement system calls for more citations to be issued, providing the city a 40 percent increase in revenue from fines, and possibly the installation of 1,000 additional meters. Some councilmembers are already protesting.


Atlanta’s revenues from parking fines would increase by at least 40 percent, under a proposal released to vendors by the administration of Mayor Kasim Reed. Credit:

“The only way to go from $5 million to $7 million [in parking-fine revenue for the city] is to write more tickets; that’s not going to go down well with the public,” said Councilmember Michael Julian Bond. “Additional metered spaces will be trickling into residential areas, and that’s not going to go down well.”

These terms and more are outlined in a request for proposals issued June 20 by the administration of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Reed announced the same day that he was seeking a new vendor to replace the controversial Parkatlanta. Its contract expires Sept. 24, Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza said.

Details of the RFP were discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of the council’s Transportation Committee. The administration has asked the council to extend Parkatlanta’s contract on month-to-month basis, for up to six months, while a new vendor is brought on board. The committee approved the request and sent it for further review by the council’s Finance Committee.

One issue that was not discussed at the meeting is that the RFP encourages vendors to generate as much revenue as possible from parking citations. The grading scale gives extra points for amounts over the baseline $7 million and deleting points for amounts under $7 million. One category gave points for city revenues of $10.5 million or higher:

RFP, parking, revenue proposals

This is the points scale for revenue proposals for Atlanta’s on-street parking management program. Credit: Atlanta

  • “[A]dditional points will be awarded if the Proponent exceeds this base amount and fewer points will be awarded if the Proponent does not meet this base amount.”

Committee Chairperson Yolanda Adrean drilled down on the process by which the RFP says proposals will be evaluated.

The grading scale gives twice as many points for the revenue proposal as it does for improving the technology of the payment system. The revenue proponent is weighted 30 percent and technology is weighted 15 percent, according to the RFP.

“Two things I’m concerned about are that the provider gets, in my humble opinion, too many points for the revenue it provides, and not enough incentive to improve technology,” Adrean said. “If you look at the summary [of customer complaints], customers really do want the ability to upgrade the meter from the spot, wherever they are, if they are running late.

“Someone could win a contract without any intention of upgrading, or even the capability … because of the way the evaluation system is proposed,” Adrean said. “I would urge you … to bring the equipment into the 21st century.”

Atlanta Councilmember Yolanda Adrean

Atlanta Councilmember Yolanda Adrean

Reed addressed technology in his statement announcing the search for a new vendor:

  • “The city’s next parking operator will use cutting-edge, up-to-the-minute technology to operate a parking system that meets everyone’s needs.”

William Johnson, Reed’s deputy chief operating officer, responded to Adrean that vendors will want to improve the metering technology in order to earn those 15 percent.

“This is an important component,” Johnson said. “Anyone who would not address a 15-point opportunity would run the risk of losing out on points.”

Johnson also said the number of additional meters has not been determined.

“The number of spaces to be added is not a guarantee,” he said. “It’s a number that’s going to be discussed with traffic engineering.”

More than 50 companies attended a pre-proposal conference on June 30, according to a sign-in sheet from the meeting. Among them was the parent company of Parkatlanta, which is Wisconsin-based Duncan Solutions.




David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

7 replies
  1. OscarSheppard says:

    Is 5-7 million dollars that important in a town this size ,really ? It seems that when pet projects like Football stadiums, trollies to nowhere , the belt line etc., hundreds of millions of dollars materialize from nowhere , yet we turn Atlanta into an unwelcome city for peanuts ……Report


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