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Sneak peak for conference Wednesday Night Event!

Have you already registered for the 2018 TPTA Conference? It's going to be in Houston at the downtown Marriott Marquis from March 26-29. Sponsorships and exhibit booths are going fast too, so sign up while you can!

As always, TPTA likes to close out the conference with a great team building event and this year is no different.

Get ready for the TPTA Mini Golf Charity Classic! Teams will be challenged to build a  custom mini golf hole using canned and boxed food. 

But we need your help. We need non-perishable food items - contribute individually or sponsor a food drive through your company. All proceeds will be delivered to the Houston Food Bank after the event.

Here is how you can donate:

  1. Drop off canned good/non-perishable items at the Conference registration booth when you check-in; or
  2. Donate money through the TPTA conference website during the registration process.

If you have already registered for the conference but would like to donate - return to the conference website then click on Already Registered and add your donation amount.

If you have questions, please contact Jaime Snyder at jsnyder@walkerconsultants.com or Britney Cooper at bcooper@walterpmoore.com

We look forward to an awesome event and your participation is greatly appreciated! See you in Houston!

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Register for our PGS Roundtable!

Registration is now open for the January Roundtable! Thank you to Parking Guidance System for their generous sponsorship!

We'll be discussing PGS all day - join us as Walker Consultants leads an interactive workshop where teams will develop mock systems for a campus.

We'll end the day with a session on wayfinding core concepts lead by TAMU Campus Architect, Lilia Gonzales, and a tour of the Cain Garage. Breakfast and lunch will be provided!

Join us on Jan 31 for the networking session at Razoo's Cajun Cafe! Thank you to our friends at TAMU Transportation Services for hosting!

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It's simple with the right people

For Houston, I believe 2017 will be remembered as the year of Harvey.  We saw what the storm did to homes and businesses.  We saw the community come together in the aftermath and lend a helping hand to those that had to rebuild.  And while we were rebuilding our personal lives, we had to figure out how to maintain our professional lives, as well.

How do you do that?  How do you concentrate on work and all of the things that need to get done on a daily basis, when you’re worried about sheetrock and roof damage?  As I found out, it’s pretty simple when you’ve got a great support team.  My entire team were willing to take that extra step, work that extra hour, so that we can get our lives back together.

Days after the storm, when I was still unable to return to my home, team members were able to make it to work, to take care of the things that needed doing.  They assisted customers, building staff, and management to ensure the garage functioned normally.  When I finally made it back to the office and had to alter my regular hours, it was an easy transition back to work for me. 

It was a weight off my shoulders, knowing I wouldn’t be going back to a backlog of work; knowing that I didn’t need to worry about the day to day matters.  It’s a weight off my shoulders knowing that I work with colleagues who care. 

Forever grateful,

Shannon Mayfield

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Winter Roundtable Jan 31-Feb 1 at TAMU

Mark your calendar for the Winter Roundtable - Jan 31-Feb 1 at Texas A&M University. We'll be discussing all things PGS - if this is a subject you're interested in - make plans to be there! Registration will be opening up soon and details on the agenda will be provided at that time.

Hope to see you at A&M!

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Spreading holiday cheer

In all my time spent in parking, approximately 20 years, today I observed a first. Christmas came early in Houston when maintenance personnel purchased, assembled and installed holiday decorations in a local TMC garage for all parkers to see upon entering and exiting.  They really went above and beyond in showing their exceptional skills in decorating, but most important the ability to provide a wonderful display for everyone visiting the facility during the holiday season. With this facility servicing a hotel and medical clinic, they stepped up the parking game by decorating the support columns with garland and wreaths, hung stocking from the walls, attached elves to the cashier booth and placed a Christmas tree on the parking island between the two exit lanes. Everyone has provided plenty of positive compliments at seeing such a display when arriving at the garage and are even taking photos. Selfie anyone?

Jerry Mauboules
Area Manager, Winpark

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Have you renewed your membership yet?

Time to renew your 2018 TPTA membership online!  Membership is valid through December 31st of each calendar year and a current membership is required to attend the Annual Conference and Tradeshow.

Speaking of the annual conference - we are excited to be back in Houston in 2018. Stay tuned for more information!

It's been a while since we had some news links, so check out the items below!

Someone committed suicide at this College Station garage. This has become a hot topic at conferences - what can we do as parking operators to minimize these acts?

Three Texas cities made this list. Do you live in one of the most congested cities? 

Ft Worth debates the cost of free parking.

Let's end with a LOL :) 

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2018 TPTA Memberships

WIN A SCHOLARSHIP TO THE 2018 IPI CONFERENCE & EXPO IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA!

Anyone who renews or purchases a TPTA membership on or before December 31, 2017 will be eligible and placed into a drawing to win ONE of TWO "Full Scholarship Conference Packages" to the 2018 IPI Conference & Expo which will be held June 3-6, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.  Each Scholarship Package includes an IPI conference registration, airfare and hotel up to a specific amount.  Please renew your membership today as the holidays are approaching quickly and you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to win.  

 

Click on the logo below to read more about the IPI Conference & Tradeshow! 

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Our Industry Can Help Texas

Even though we aren’t thought of as “first responders” to emergencies and natural disasters, those of us in the Parking and Transportation industry are often cast into that role. We aren’t saving lives or putting out fires, but we are often in the Emergency Operations Centers lending expertise to city, hospital, airport, and university planners as they triage such situations and decide where to apply immediate, but often limited resources.

In the recent wake of Hurricane Harvey, and without any hesitation, the Texas Parking and Transportation Association (TPTA) board of directors decided to respond to the relief efforts by donating $5,000 to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation Rebuild Texas Fund set up to rebuild communities across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. $42.8M has been raised towards a goal of $100M. We know this amount can grow, but only with your help.

As national and international partners in this industry, we can make a huge difference together. Our industry is best represented when we are providing ingenious and excellent service; giving to those supporting Texas relief efforts is the best way to show our strength right now. We may not be able to put “boots on the ground," but in uniting to give, we can offer tangible, lasting support to the state of Texas and to our friends and colleagues affected by the disaster.

TPTA would like to challenge and encourage other state and regional parking and transportation associations to donate to the relief efforts throughout affected areas of Texas.

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From slingin' wings to parking cars

Chaos in the kitchen, timers going off, hungry patrons impatiently waiting for their food….That was my life close to four years ago and all I had known for almost six years.

I was in the restaurant industry since my junior year of high school, from working the fast food drive-thru to managing a team and keeping customers happy.

Little did I know when I made the leap to take on a job in the big city and out of my comfort zone, just how much I was already prepared for the parking world.

The first day, I encountered a less than entertained parker who wasn’t aware that it was going to cost him to exit our garage. I immediately knew how to handle the situation. I was reminded of when I was standing in a dining room with an upset customer whose food was incorrect and demanded compensation.

Across the board, in any industry, customer service is always the same. A smile can go a long way and it can take the most difficult situations in a whole new direction.

Over the last thirteen years of my working career, it doesn’t matter what setting I am in or what I am tasked with, I know that the customer should feel as if they are always right and a little kindness is the key to success!

Jessica Garcia
Parking Manager
Winpark

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Weekly news fix

Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, announced an exploratory transportation project to optimize traffic flows for bus ridership and utilize data analytics to improve navigation at Texas A&M University. Read more about it here.

Billions are wasted every year as drivers search for parking. Read Inrix's report here.

Parking revenues are being impacted by ride-share services. Is your organization feeling a pinch? Read the story here. 

T2 Systems has acquired Parksoft. Read about it here.

Build more or less parking? Can reducing minimums result in more efficient parking management. This piece certainly thinks so. 

And Mexico City has eliminated parking minimums.

Send your news to TPTA@texasparking.org!

 

What violation would you write here? Tell us in the comments!

What violation would you write here? Tell us in the comments!

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Did you take 3 minutes to respond to our survey?

We sent out a survey about the TPTA conference on June 26 and we wanted to share the responses with you. If you didn't get a chance to give us your feedback, the survey is still open - so take a few minutes and tell us what you think!

Until that time - here are some highlights from the responses. Not surprisingly, most attend the conference for a bit of everything: networking, education and hearing industry experts. We plan on continuing to provide these resources via roundtables and the annual conference. 

The hottest topic is innovative ideas in parking operations. Clearly, we want to hear about new and unusual ideas to take our operations to the next level. Are you currently putting in place a program that is innovative and unique? If so - be on the lookout for the call for speakers for the 2018 conference. We would love to hear about your new program! Another hot topic is transportation and transit. Parking data and analytics also shared a spot on the top of the list.

We also heard that attendees prefer to have the conference take place entirely in the hotel versus a separate location. Our show has gotten large enough that finding a location with sufficient space can be a challenge. But for 2018, we're happy to report that the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston will be hosting our event and it will all take place within the hotel. We are looking forward to seeing you there! 

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What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas….Not Necessarily?

During my inaugural trip to Las Vegas, Nevada in June, a local newscaster was presenting a story about the passing of legislation regarding autonomous vehicle testing on public roads. She mentioned that it would make Nevada one of the first states to allow this testing without a person inside the vehicle.  While that is true, eighteen states have already passed bills to allow this type of testing on public roads.  Florida has been allowing true “driverless” vehicles since 2016.

The driverless electric shuttle carries passengers in a test program in downtown Las Vegas.  

The driverless electric shuttle carries passengers in a test program in downtown Las Vegas.
 

Texas is also one of those states.  The Texas legislation will become law on September 1, 2017 which means Texas could begin seeing driverless vehicles before the end of this year’s swimming season.  Prior to the bill being passed, there was no law banning autonomous vehicles on public roadways but manufacturers of AVs have been hesitant  to begin testing with no backup driver without clear guidelines in place. 

Texas is one of the states in front of the pack when it comes to AV testing.  In January of 2017, Texas was named one of 10 designated proving ground testing sites by the USDOT. Peterbilt has been testing semi-trucks out of its Denton, TX headquarters for years.  Although these examples are all from Texas, adoption of driverless vehicle testing and operation is becoming vastly widespread.

Nevada may have once been the leading state for driverless technologies but that is no longer the case,  proving that what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.

Lauren Nelson
Senior Operations Manager
Winpark

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