A COMPANY which provides a parking phone app in Fremantle has taken the unusual step of asking customers to lobby the council so it doesn’t get dumped as a provider.
CellOPark was the first company to introduce a pay-by-phone parking system in Australia and had a three-year contract with Fremantle council which is due to expire soon. The council has used the opportunity to put the system out to tender and last week its finance, policy and legislation committee provisionally chose another company, Database Consultants Australia, which offers a similar but cheaper system. The decision has to be ratified by full council.
DCA already supplies the city with the equipment to issue parking fines and the council says it will be easier if both parking services come from the same provider.
“[This] will provide live data to our infringement system to ensure few infringement errors occur,” says the council’s director of city business Glen Dougall.
The Herald has previously heard complaints from CellOPark users such as ambulance officer Matthew Geagea that they were being issued fines because the city’s parking inspectors had missed that they’d paid online.
When the tender results were announced, CellOPark boss Ori Almog decided to fight back, asking users to send a pre-written letter to the council asking them not to drop the service or to at least to let it continue alongside a new provider.
“The proposed replacement provider is the same company who provides the council with its enforcement system and offers a solution which has been voted as inferior to CellOPark by users in other states,” Mr Almog wrote to local customers.
Mr Almog told the Herald he was disappointed by the decision because the company had developer “great relationships with the residents and motorists”.
Fremantle-based Boat Services Australia managing director Rohan Lewis says his whole business uses CellOPark and he’d be “bitterly upset” to see it go.
“All our guys have the app on their phone, our cleaner does, I do, it’s part of the business,” he says.
“It’s just awesome. If someone comes to visit, we have their rego number in our phone, we just punch it in and parking is paid, done.”
by MOLLY SCHMIDT