Pay for Parking Onboard Train (via Conductor or App)

Nudging Up Customer Service: Externally-Dependent Project

Problem, Classification, and Idea

One of the most common problems customers encounter at regional rail stations relates to paying for parking. Besides the few who have hang-tag parking permits, customers must rely on a cumbersome system which involves paying for parking at an antiquated machine (possibly even an old coin slot box) before boarding the train. As a result, some customers pay for their parking and then unsafely run for their train. Worse, some customers run to catch their train only to realize they had forgotten to pay for their parking. In order to improve the parking situation for customers, as well as increase platform safety, alternative methods of parking payment should be evaluated.


Presently, the easiest method would involve some offering by which customers could pay for their parking on the train. This could most easily be accomplished through the use of an external app that is built and maintained by the parking collection companies. In this case, customers in a rush would only need to remember their space number. Then, once onboard the train, customers would be able to pay for their parking through the external app. The person collecting the parking fees from the slot box would then be able to check a backend to see which spaces were paid online. While this solution is the easiest to implement and has the shortest time to implementation, another opportunity also presents itself with the upcoming regional rail implementation of NPT. Under NPT, customers should be able to tap on at their normal station and enter their space number upon entry. In addition, tagging on at a regional rail station should automatically allow the customer to pay for parking while simultaneously counting as the “tag on” for the regional rail.


Next Steps

  • Meet with NPT Team to discuss how parking payments will be handled.
  • Discuss mobile ticketing options with Mike Zaleski and see how the two can be integrated.
  • Inquire about conductor technologies upon completion of NPT.
  • Speak to parking collection facilities to determine how payment could be handled.