Missoula is the second-largest city in Montana and home to the University of Montana, the second-largest university in the state. The Missoula Parking Commission manages parking for both the city’s downtown core and a residential area near the university, totaling approximately 1,200 on-street spaces, 12 lots, and four structures. It is a component unit enterprise fund of the city, meaning it doesn’t receive any money from the city’s general fund – all of its funding comes from parking revenue.
Prior to T2 System’s installation, Missoula’s parking solutions were not getting the job done. Downtown streets were lined with single space meters that offered only two hours of parking at a time and were often broken, leading to many erroneous tickets issued to patrons that had paid. Unhappy customers were unable to resolve the issue easily and the Parking Commission was wasting valuable time and resources checking broken meters.
The collections process relied on a makeshift coin collector that failed to meet dual control standards, and followed the same daily collection routes, leading to an increased risk of theft and employee safety concerns. Additionally, the outdated software offered minimal functionality and reporting and didn’t connect to the parking meters or parking garage equipment.
Missoula replaced over 1,000 single head meters with 117 T2 Luke® II pay stations in December 2015, a number that has now increased to 134. They also implemented Iris™, T2’s back-end software for pay stations, which allows them to manage all aspects of their pay stations – collections, maintenance, rates, and more – from one platform.
To provide better customer service, Missoula added T2 FlexPort, an online portal that allows customers to pay and appeal parking citations online, and mobile payment capabilities. Implementing mobile payments was a breeze thanks to T2’s ability to easily integrate with other providers, and it has allowed customers to pay from the warmth of their car during Missoula’s harsh winters.
Missoula has seen increased efficiency and vast operational improvements in maintenance, collections, reporting, and revenue. Iris sends an alert instantly whenever a machine is out of paper, has a coin jam, has met its collection capacity, etc. Then the maintenance team can troubleshoot from anywhere, saving time previously spent searching for issues out in the field.
The Parking Commission’s collections process is also much improved, especially with regard to security. With real-time collection data, they can strategically plan and change up their collection routes based on which pay stations are full, rather than taking the same path every day. Additionally, the Luke II pay station’s coin canister locks itself as soon as it is removed, adding an extra layer of security by preventing any coins from being added or removed.
The vast reporting capabilities that Iris offers have also been immensely valuable to Missoula. The team is able to analyze occupancy, rates, financial data, and more to make strategic decisions. “T2’s reporting functionality has allowed us to move towards data-driven management decisions instead of trying to work with anecdotal evidence and assumptions,” said Tiffany Brander, Parking Services Director
Additionally, T2’s fully configurable pay station solution allowed Missoula to implement a new escalating rate structure to improve turnover and drive revenue. Luke II’s array of payment options and the added mobile payment capabilities make it easier for customers to pay for parking, while the convenience of FlexPort has led to an increase in citation payments. All of this has helped the Missoula Parking Commission exponentially increase parking revenue since partnering with T2, setting the operation up for a sustainable future.
About T2 Systems
T2 is the largest provider of parking, transportation, and mobility solutions in North America. With over 25 years in business T2 now serves more than 1,700 customers and maintains the largest Customer Community with over 5,000 active members. T2's open technology and best practices are used to process over 2 billion US dollars annually, and the company's PARCS, Permits, Enforcement, Pay Stations, and Professional Services capabilities are renowned for innovation and reliability. T2 solutions help universities, municipalities, operators, healthcare campuses, transportation hubs generate revenue and operate efficiently with integrated solutions featuring touchless and contactless options. From curbside management to gateless, from mobile payments to transportation demand management, T2 strives to make every trip a smooth journey by streamlining the parking, mobility, and transportation experience with technology solutions that help organizations manage resources, achieve goals and empower consumers with choices.