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Parking Enforcement KPIs: How do you measure up?

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Measuring parking enforcement effectiveness is somewhat subjective depending on your operational goals. How are you measuring effectiveness? What does success look like? How are you gauging overall parking enforcement performance?

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Whether you are a city, university or parking operator, parking enforcement typically boils down to the following metrics to determine performance standards. Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you set benchmarks and measure performance.

Compliance Rate: We have a saying at iParq that violators are future cooperators. Compliance measures how many vehicles parked correctly, according to your parking rules and regulations. If you have paid parking or require a permit, how many of those cars complied? For your operation, you should decide what is an acceptable rate.

Citation Issuance Rate: With proper Parker education, signage and communication, this rate should be relatively low. Areas of high citation issuances typically point out areas of concern that need to be addressed. Parking enforcement teams should think about these areas as opportunities to engage with the public and look for ways to improve this issuance rate.

Citation Appeals Rate: Accuracy is critical in ensuring a viable citation lifecycle. Enforcement officers must be able to have access to real-time information and an easy-to-issue and evidence-rich citation platform. This way, when the citation is issued, it’s less likely it will be appealed as violators can’t refute actual photo evidence.

Citation Payment Rate: Issuing citations and receiving payment seems pretty straightforward but as we know, it’s money people don’t like to spend. Giving your violators the tools to easily make their payment with clear instructions and easy-to-navigate digital payment options, you should see your rates increase. This number should be in the 90%+ neighborhood if citations are being issued correctly and adjudication and appeals are deemed as invalid for consideration.

Adjudication Rates: The rate at which violators are appealing or requesting administrative review should be on the lower side (less than 10% of all citations written) IF there is adequate signage stating parking rules and regulations and photo evidence provided with the citation. The ultimate goal is to provide irrefutable information and proof so that you can avoid escalating adjudication procedures.

Key Points to Remember:

1. Enforcement also largely depends on how much you can actually enforce. On citations issued for where there is no registered owner information available, the typical collection rate will be between 18-33% of total citation fines issued. For citations issued with registered owner information, your collection rate will be anywhere between 55% - 80% of the total citation fines issued. Add in the ability to apply for liens to be paid at the DMV in order to register the vehicle, and collection rates can increase to 95% (as some cars will be abandoned and not re-registered). Important to note: Having a reputation for towing does deter parkers from initially not paying, however, it does not improve your citation collection rates as most jurisdictions prohibit the towing agency from collecting the citation balance and remitting it to the institution.

2. The ability to obtain Registered Owner’s information is crucial to your collection rates. If you can partner with a Law enforcement agency to obtain a valid ORI number, and use that for leveraging eventual liens for nonpayment, then you have a great opportunity to achieve a high collection rate. In addition, if your institution can execute a Transfer to Collections to some other system (ie. Student or Payroll account), the collection rate will go up significantly.

3. Implementing automated aging actions are key in the lifecycle of a citation issued. Engaging the Registered Owner, initially, and as the unpaid citation ages, offering payment and dispute resolution, can turn an offender into a cooperator in the long run.

Lastly, the mechanism in which you collect this data is very important. Having a manual process will slow the process down. Strong data aggregation and reporting are very important and should be a top consideration when looking for an enforcement partner.

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