New vendor replaces ParkAtlanta for downtown street parking

ATLPlus, run by Chicago-based SP Plus Parking, has replaced ParkAtlanta.

ATLPlus, run by Chicago-based SP Plus Parking, has replaced ParkAtlanta.

A new parking program has taken the place of ParkAtlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed announced Wednesday.

ATLPlus, run by Chicago-based SP Plus Parking, will provide parking enforcement, meter maintenance, collection and citation processing services.

The new company “signals a new chapter in a customer-based approach for efficiency for our residents and guests,” Reed told a crowd at Atlanta City Hall.

“ATLPlus will eliminate the frustration that is so often associated with finding and paying for parking in a busy urban city,” he said.

The frustration Reed referred is known by many residents, who complained for years of being unfairly targeted by over-zealous enforcement from ParkAtlanta.

The controversial Wisconsin-based firm that ran ParkAtlanta, Duncan Solutions, signed a seven-year contract with Mayor Shirley Franklin's administration in 2009. By June 2010, business owners and patrons protested in mass arguing that the company's ability to control parking enforcement was too severe.

However, speakers at Wednesday’s announcement steered away from directly addressing the former company. The closest they came was when Public Works Commissioner William Johnson accidentally introduced SP Plus Parking Regional Vice President Jason Spoeth as being from ParkAtlanta. The crowed “oohed,” and when Johnson realized the mistake, laughed lightheartedly.

There are no plans to increase parking rates or citations, Spoeth said.

Parking machines have been updated with receipts bearing the new company’s name. But some changes are still forthcoming.

The 2,400 metered parking spaces around the city will be upgraded, and the system will also use license plate recognition technology for parking enforcement, according to a press release.

ATLPlus will use the Parkmobile app. Users can add time from their phone, and they’ll get a notification when time is almost up.

Mayor Kasim Reed announced a new parking program that has replaced the controversial ParkAtlanta.

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“Our goal is crystal clear in this process, and that is to provide an easy and convenient way to pay for on-street parking in the city of Atlanta,” Reed said.

People who have an issue can now call a customer service hotline, 404-201-5396. A woman answered the phone quickly Wednesday afternoon, ready to help.

ATLPlus will also allow customers up to 14 days to contest a citation online, in person or by mail.

From a press release:

... within 15 business days each contested citation will be reviewed and individuals will be notified of the validity of their parking citation. Citations that are invalid will be dismissed, while citations that are upheld can be paid or further disputed at the Atlanta Municipal Courts. 

City Council voted in October on the contract, which estimated that SP Plus will earn about $13.5 million annually, with $7 million each year going to the city. ParkAtlanta earned the city about $5 million a year.

To discourage SP Plus from running up the tab, the city could receive about 70 percent of any income earned by the company above the expected $13.5 million in collections. The contract is a joint venture with All N One security, city officials said. The AJC has previously reported the contract is for five years with two one-year extensions.

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SP Plus is launching a new application so people can pay parking tickets remotely and get times-up notifications on meter parked vehicles.