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Innovation Awards Winners
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2017 Winners

NPA announced the winners of its 2017 Innovation Awards at the Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, October 3, 2017:

NPA Innovator of the Year:

Thomas LeathersThomas Leathers
Parking Administrator for the City of Durham, N.C.

During his three years as the Parking Administrator for the City of Durham, Thomas Leathers has reengineered and transformed the Parking Division into a 21st century, cloud-based data and technology-driven, efficient operation. As a result of his leadership, the City of Durham has seen transformative and catalytic parking successes driven by policy, data analytics, technology and innovation.

Thomas has led efforts to implement the latest and most advanced technologies. He introduced a cloud-based, smart asset vendor hosted PARCS solution to improve ingress and egress. He also launched a "pay by license plate" metered on-street parking program and implemented solar-powered, smart single-space parking meters and multi-space paystations. Vehicle detection sensors and a mobile license plate recognition system are now used to optimize on-street metered and residential parking assets.

Thanks to the many innovative programs led by Thomas Leathers, Durham has not only improved the experience for its parkers, but has seen more than a $1 million increase in annual revenues as well as investments of $27.9 million for parking capital improvement and infrastructure projects.


Innovative Organization of the Year:

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Parking Business Unit (DFW/PBU)

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Parking  Business Unit (DFW/PBU)Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Parking Business Unit (DFW/PBU) implemented a highly impactful business model and transit parking master plan resulting in significant industry contributions. Organizational innovation and applied best practices positioned DFW to achieve the top ranking for customer satisfaction among large airports, according to ACI’s 2016 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program survey.

The DFW Parking Business Unit has deployed high-tech equipment to process 100,000 transactions per day in unmanned lanes. They constructed 4 new plazas in a live ‘highway like’ operating environment. Over 37,000 customers have been assisted with courtesy vehicle services, including lost vehicle location, since 2013. A mobile license plate inventory was launched, enabling daily count of 40,000 campus spaces.

DFW Parking Business Unit’s methodology and best practices has generated $181 million of annual revenue.


Innovative Facility of the Year:

MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas, Nev.

MGM Resorts InternationalMGM launched a major parking strategy to convert 11 resort properties from free parking to paid parking. MGM invested $90 million to enhance parking infrastructure, take advantage of new technologies and improve the customer experience.

The three parking technology vendors selected by MGM worked very closely to accomplish this monumental task. Sentry Control Systems provided a state-of-the-art access and revenue system. With INDECT USA’s parking guidance system, 60,000 individual parking space sensors, integrated with custom wayfinding signage, were installed. Making all of this work together was the installation of a central command center by SP+ that links all of the MGM property garages through fiber-optics allowing MGM to provide 24/7 monitoring and response to any site issues.


Innovative Sustainability Project of the Year:

Phoenix Motorcars

Phoenix MotorcarsPhoenix Motorcars collaborated with L & R to replace gas powered shuttle buses at Los Angeles International Airport with Phoenix’s Zero Emission Utility Shuttles (ZEUS) buses. L&R subsidiary, Wally Park Premier, deployed 16 ZEUS buses at Los Angeles Airport, making it the first all-electric fleet of airport parking shuttle buses in the USA. By deploying a total of 33 ZEUS buses, L&R will be able to convert 4.2 million gas miles to all electric miles over a 5 year period and reduce tail pipe emissions significantly.

Through government incentives, as much as $100,000 per shuttle bus, the cost of switching to an all-electric fleet was kept to a minimum. The result is more than $3.6 million in total cost of ownership savings over an equivalent CNG fleet due to lower fuel and maintenance costs.

NPA Industry Partners

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