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Page last updated on January 18, 2022 at 3:37 pm

For more information, please contact

Michelle Wahl, Parking Services Director, Public Works Department,, (812) 349-3517

The Challenge: 

The City of Bloomington is always looking to improve its customer service and increase efficiency in our parking garages. Sometimes residents need help with issues they encounter while parking. This might include issues with payment, problems leaving the garage, and anything else that might occur during their time at a parking garage facility. Most of the time the “Help” button is pressed in a parking garage, it is because a patron is confused. By the time they hit the button, they are already frustrated. For every moment they wait for help, tensions rise, and public opinion of city services dwindles. Often the person in charge of the intercom for the day is busy as the Parking Services Division of Public Works has a finite capacity to respond to all patrons in a timely and efficient manner. Ryan Daily, Garage Manager, started researching solutions to these challenges. When Parking Services Director, Michelle Wahl, joined the City, together they began looking for a partner in parking services to lessen the demand placed on existing facility staff, allowing them to focus on other operational challenges instead. 


The Idea:

IUB Parking had previously contracted with Parker Technology in some of their garages. So Michelle was able to meet with IUB Parking Operations Director, Amanda Turnispeed, and walk-through how the system worked and how the City might be able to adopt the same platform for their garages. Parker Technology specializes in providing customer service related to the parking experience. Intercom calls are never a distraction for them; it is all they do. All staff members are trained in our specific facilities and are readily available to solve your problems via their 24/7 call center or live video conferencing. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Parker Technology answered over 60,000 calls just last month, including in IUPUI’s parking facilities. Specifically in Bloomington, as of January 2022, Parker Technology has answered roughly 12,000 calls across all four of Bloomington’s garages. 

The drive-up pay terminals in the Morton Street, Walnut Street, Trades District, and 4th Street garages now house Parker Technology’s 24/7 live customer service agents. If drivers encounter a problem in the parking garage all they need to do is push the button on the terminal labeled “Push for Help” (this button is located above where you enter your payment). A Parker Technology representative will answer your call within 11 seconds and resolve your issue within one minute, 99% of the time. Parker Technology answers help calls with the City of Bloomington’s branded experience in mind, according to the City of Bloomington’s business rules. Their only concern is to ensure successful payments and that guests have a smooth parking experience entering or exiting the facility. 

Parker Technology motto

The Cost:

Having Parker Technology 24/7 live customer service agents in four city garages costs 55 cents per hour per garage. If the City collects a little over one extra paid space per day per garage, the tool will pay for itself. The savings in time and energy for the Parking Services division is dramatic, and residents, commuters, and visitors to the area (from hotels, conferences, shopping, etc.) are better satisfied with the prompt customer service. 

There is no cost to residents and the implementation of live customer service agents in the parking garages does not change the parking rate or the payment process. The garages in Bloomington are monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and cost $0.50 per hour to park. If you have any problems with payment, you can now contact Parker’s service representatives to resolve the issue. 


The Benefit:

All garages (4) are now fully equipped with Parker Technology’s 24/7 customer service experience. At any point during your parking session, a Parker representative will be available to assist with any problems you might encounter via live video conferencing. Putting a human touch back into parking, Parker Technology will help to improve the operational efficiency in the City of Bloomington’s parking garages. Facility managers will no longer be taking customer service calls, which frees up their time for other facility management responsibilities. But you can always get in touch with a facility manager for general questions and concerns at (812) 349-3844. 

Parking staff in Bloomington began looking into Parker Technology before the Pandemic and had no idea that virtual interactions would not only be convenient but have positive health implications, as well. Limiting contact between strangers is all but essential at this point, and the 24/7 Parking Garage Customer Service model now implemented in Bloomington embraces this. 



City Department: Public Works Parking Services

Point of Contact: Michelle Wahl

Partners: Parker Technology 

Partner Point of Contact: n/a

Date Implemented: July 2020 

Type of Innovation: Technical/Software