Integrated platforms for curb success: Passport’s approach

June 25, 2024

Parking ticket placed on car

Parking enforcement and curb management are related and often siloed aspects of a city’s approach to managing their curb. OMF members like Passport are leading the way in providing solutions for cities to manage their curb space and parking enforcement all in one platform. Learn more about these topics and about Passport’s journey through this Q&A with Passport CEO Khristian Gutierrez.

Passport has evolved through the years from a point solution to a platform. Can you share more about that journey and the value of platform technology?

Passport has evolved so much over the last 10+ years, going from a simple parking payment application and compliance tool for parking operators to helping primarily cities and counties of all sizes streamline their parking and enforcement operations technology ecosystem in one centralized system. 


It all started with the concept of reducing friction in parking and making payments easy. And, friction reduction is still the ethos that informs our product strategy today– though our solution aperture has widened to include all ways drivers interact with these public and private spaces and all the ways an operator can manage compliance against those parking rights. 

Once an operator has one place to accept and review various forms of parking rights, such as meter and mobile payments and long-term and short-term digital permits, and is driving compliance with a powerful set of enforcement solutions, it has access to incredibly powerful data.


Our customers are leveraging this data to analyze what’s happening in these spaces and are starting to see angles of a bigger story they couldn’t previously understand simply because the data didn’t exist. The alternative and very sought-after Director’s cuts of their movies are playing out in real-time.


Now, our platform leverages the most comprehensive marketplace of industry data to help uncover ways to manage curbs more efficiently and effectively. I’m so excited as the emerging technologies and businesses start to take flight in the parking industry– when we launched our business in 2011, there were almost no “start-ups”. Governments were quite apprehensive to try new technologies, and just as few established companies were willing to embrace integrations. In 2024, I’m proud to see our team support a marketplace of innovators and de-risk their implementations with cities and counties through our integrations and interfaces. We’ve launched tooling, like Performance Benchmarking, where cities compare operations with those of their peers, and they start to see it all come together to continue to optimize and innovate through the technologies we provide along with our partners and get to that end goal of curb management. 

Parking enforcement isn’t often front and center in discussions around city innovation and technology. What role do you think enforcement can play in advancing curb management and innovation in cities?

Our enforcement software is really the backbone of our platform. Without a modern, flexible citation management system in place, it’s difficult to truly drive compliance, which should be at the forefront of any parking operations’ goals. Our enforcement solutions are battle-tested and can take enforcement and compliance to the next level for any size city, allowing them to build the foundation for a curb management program that can support a truly open ecosystem.


So without the ability to set those rules and regulations across all the various systems a city may have in place, curb management stays fragmented across departments, products and vendors. By integrating everything into that backbone, that infrastructure of enforcement and compliance, it’s not until then that you can begin to manage your curb more efficiently.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing cities in terms of parking and curb management?

Cities are rethinking their curb spaces to accommodate new uses like bike lanes, loading zones, and the increasing demand for delivery services. In this dynamic environment, parking enforcement technology is not just about issuing tickets; it’s about absorbing multiple data streams to verify or create a compliance event to facilitate efficient curb management.


So one of the biggest challenges facing cities is: how do you make sure all these different uses of the curb are complying with the rules you have in place? And how do you adapt your rules, if you don’t have a system that allows you to adapt quickly? That’s what we’re doing for our clients. Building features and functionality that allow them to adapt to these challenges that haven’t arrived yet, while still ensuring they can remain compliant. A modern, flexible enforcement solution that can integrate with other technologies is needed to address any of these challenges that come.

Passport has been a leader in contributing to the development of the OMF’s Curb Data Standard, which is still a relatively new tool for cities. How do you plan to balance the need for innovation with the practical constraints of implementing new solutions in city environments?

We break things down by a technology adoption curve and put them in three groups: Digitizers, Optimizers, and Innovators. At one end of the spectrum, you have Digitizers who are looking to take that first step into moving away from manual processes, paper to digital, meters to apps, etc. In the middle, you have Optimizers, which is where most cities currently fall. They want to improve, refine, and enhance their current operation and technology. Finally, the Innovators are just that. They’re adding new products, developing new processes, and testing different ways to do things to try to stay ahead of the curve. So when we talk about balancing the needs of our clients, this helps ground us to ensure we’re continuing to service those Digitizers by implementing the right solutions that fit their needs at the right time. We obviously put a ton of emphasis on optimization to help cities constantly improve and get more efficient, whether adding a simple report that makes their lives easier or launching a new feature that will help streamline how they operate. And we’re an innovative company constantly thinking about what’s next as well. I mentioned Performance Benchmarking, but we’ve launched innovative products like Photo Enforcement and our digital meter bagging solution, SpotBlock. Breaking things down in that way allows us to take that practical approach, knowing that all cities are in different stages and have different needs.

Are there any emerging technologies or trends that you believe will significantly impact cities, and how do you plan to leverage them?

Camera and Photo Enforcement is an emerging trend and movement that we are launching with a variety of partners in key markets. Implementing cameras and sensors, not just in garages where they’ve been around for a bit now, but also off-street in surface lots and even on-street, has quickly emerged as a powerful force to help cities drive better compliance. Cities are leveraging this integrated technology in very different capacities depending on their environments and the problems they are trying to solve: some are gathering data to produce studies to inform policy, others are directing enforcement officers to the areas where violations occur vs. having officers circling, and others are driving even deeper efficiencies by automating enforcement tickets entirely and shipping letters to homes vs. tickets on car window. We’re keeping our ear to the ground and supporting cities and counties in the best way we know how– investing in our core solutions and developing integrations and interfaces with other market innovators and leaders.

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