SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Finance, Public Works and mayor's departments are in the process of reviewing the six bids the city received on Tuesday to address its parking problem.
Mayor Meg Kelly said the city needs to hire a comprehensive parking management company to make necessary parking adjustments in order to help locals and visitors easily park in the city.
"Other communities are using smart technology and it works really well," she said. "Looking at an app to find open spaces would make parking much easier.
"There's so much smart technology out there we could use, so I hope they've come up with good ideas."
The city issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a paid parking system solution on Feb. 12, and reissued it on March 13 asking bidders to incorporate "smart parking system" technology.
ABM Parking Services, which has an Albany location along with more than a dozen other nationwide and international offices, submitted a bid for $96,000.
Their recommended operating plan incorporating smart parking technologies includes PayByPhone, an app that lets users pay for parking over the phone, and multi-space pay stations.
LAZ Parking, which operates 10 nationwide locations, manages nine parking facilities in Schenectady. The company submitted a bid for $100,000 and offers parking facility management services as well as shuttles.
Their app, LAZgo, gives users the opportunity to find and pay for parking via their smartphone.
Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates submitted a bid of $128,198. The company operates eight locations across the nation and specializes in transit, parking and demand management.
Their technological approach includes installing multi-space meters, electronic/smart single-space meters, electronic occupancy signs and cellphone-enabled payment information.
Other strategies by Nelson Nygaard include using existing spaces with long-term and short-term parking signs and changing on-street time limits.
Optimal Solutions & Technologies (OST), which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., submitted a bid of $95,000.
The company proposes installing multi-space meters, electronic signs with the amount of available spaces displayed, and an app system that would direct users to available spaces and allow them to pay on their mobile device.
Parkeon of Moorestown, New Jersey, submitted a bid of $292,974.
The company's approach includes a StradaPAL Pay Station, which can be configured in pay-by-plate, pay-and-display, or pay-by-space mode, as well as the Whoosh! mobile phone app that allows users to pay for parking with their smartphones.
Users who sign up for the Whoosh! mobile app will also receive a text reminder that their parking is about to expire and allow them to extend their parking time if city rules allow.
Parkeon also operates Path to Park, which displays occupancy information for both on- and off-street parking, guides drivers to available parking spots, and provides parking area information such as distance, rates and hours.
Republic Parking System, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company, participated in the 2010 RFP process in the city when paid parking was being considered.
The company is looking to provide a wayfinding mobile app via the city's parking website to give users occupancy information and allow them to pay for parking, as well as install multi-space parking meters.
The bid by Republic Parking Systems includes a $10,000 monthly fee during phase one of the project and requires the city to reimburse expenses such as travel, printed materials and temporary labor.
The city also received a letter from Buffalo-based Allpro Parking stating that while it would not be bidding on the project, it would like to "remain an active and interested vendor, bidder, contractor on future city bids as respects to parking and transportation services."
After the city departments review the bids, they will make a recommendation for the City Council to vote on.
The project is scheduled to be awarded on May 1 and a kick-off meeting is planned for May 8 at City Hall.
The bids are open for public viewing by appointment only. To make an appointment, call the Accounts Department at (518) 587-3550.