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Parking Garage Safety Tips

If you drive into Philly multiple times a week for work, there’s a chance you park your vehicle in a garage. Since safety is always a top priority for us at our AutoParks, we wanted to give you a brief rundown on some safety tips. Although most of these tips may seem self-explanatory, it’s important to remind ourselves of these cautionary measures before we enter any parking facility.

Before You Exit Your Vehicle:

  • Make sure you park in a well-lit area.
  • Make sure items are hidden from plain view before exiting your vehicle. Lock up all valuables.

Walking In The Garage:

  • As soon as you exit your vehicle, lock it right away. Don’t take any chances.
  • Walk with purpose and be aware of all surroundings.
  • Avoid looking down at your phone to/from your car. This is a huge distraction and a sign of vulnerability. In other words, check your texts later.
  • Be alert when using stairs or elevators.

Returning To The Vehicle:

  • Hold your keys in your hand to avoid fumbling through your pockets/ purse.
  • Lock the doors as soon as you get back in your car, even before putting on your seatbelt. Spending extra time with the vehicle’s GPS or radio is not advised.
  • Don’t linger in your car. Exit the garage quickly, but remember to check your mirrors for traffic and pedestrians.

All in All:

  • Prepare for the worst—consider carrying a personal noisemaker or personal defense device.
  • Trust your instincts. Always go with your gut feeling.
  • Report suspicious activity right away by calling 911.

If you ever feel the slightest amount of discomfort in a parking garage, do not hesitate to report and react to the situation at hand.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Board Meeting Round-Up: May 31st, 2017



Chairman’s Items – Joesph T. Ashdale

  • Board Chairman, Joseph T. Ashdale, invited comment from members of the general public.
    • Members of the taxi industry commented on Transportation Network Service regulations and taxicab meter rates.


Director’s Report – Clarena I.W. Tolson

Executive Director, Clarena Tolson, provided the Board updates on the following:


  • The Authority received five (5) proposals from potential Pay-By-Cell service vendors and are currently being reviewed by Authority Staff.
  • The Authority received three (3) proposals from potential Automated Red Light Camera vendors and are currently being reviewed by Authority staff.

Parking Enforcement Officers:

  • 120 Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs) have received homeless outreach training in an effort to assist Philadelphia’s homeless population.
  • Starting June 1st, 2017, PEOs will receive situational awareness training from the Philadelphia Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism Unit.

Parking 101 Workshop:

  • The Authority will host a two-hour Parking Workshop on June 17th, 2017. The workshop will educate attendees on how to avoid future parking tickets and provide lessons on parallel parking.

Billboard Advertising on Authority Municipal Lots:    

  • Questions have been raised regarding advertising at PPA operated neighborhood parking lots. Ms. Tolson stated that the Authority will not allow advertisements with alcohol as the subject matter and will veto any proposal with inappropriate content.
  • Advertising has been in place at PPA neighborhood lots for many years.
  • Many of the PPA neighborhood lots are free and revenue from advertisements will support cleaning, snow removal and maintenance of those lots.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs):

  • The Authority’s Taxi & Limousine Division will begin selling sixty-one (61) WAV medallions and evaluate locations for additional taxis stands.


Finance and Administration

Record Retention Policy:

The Board unanimously approved a Record Retention Policy which establishes minimum periods of time for retention and makes clear that document disposal is not required. The policy mirrors those recommended for municipalities by the Pennsylvania Local Government Records Committee and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Bureau of Archives.

Employee Manual:

The Board unanimously approved changes to the Authority’s employee manual policies to be consistent with public sector standards. Those changes include:

  • Reducing limits on leave time balances that can be carried over to the following year
  • Updating provisions regarding retirement health benefits
  • Updating and setting limits on tuition reimbursement


On-Street Division

Supplemental Debt Collection Services:

The Board unanimously awarded a three year contract for Supplemental Debt Collection Services to the following firms:

  • Penn Credit
  • Progressive Financial
  • Sabatine & Associates
  • Harris & Harris

The Supplemental Debt Collection Services will be utilized to pursue unpaid on-street parking and red light camera debt. Additionally, the Authority estimates a three hundred and twenty five thousand dollar ($325,000) savings annually. The Authority also expects additional revenues through a competitive debt collection assignment process.

Purchase of License Plate Recognition Systems for the Booting Department:

The Board unanimously approved the purchase of four (4) additional License Plate Recognition Systems in the amount of one hundred twenty six thousand eight hundred twenty five dollars and seventy cents ($126,825.70). This system has proven to be very cost effective in Authority enforcement efforts.  Once installed, the system will scan license plates throughout the City of Philadelphia and notify Authority staff of boot eligible vehicles.


Airport Operations

The Board unanimously approved a contract award to Northeast Fence & Iron Works Inc to install helix fencing at Authority Airport Parking Facilities. The proposed total amount is $77,900, contingent upon the successful negotiation and execution of a contract with the Authority.  


Taxi & Limousine Division

Docket No. A-17-02-02

The Board unanimously approved of the sale to transfer the ownership of Medallion No. P-1024 along with the issuance of a corresponding taxicab certificate of public convenience to operate the medallion.

Applicant-Buyer: Iggys Taxi, LLC, CPC Application No. A -103490-01

Owner-Seller: J-S Gabrielle Corp., CPC No. 1000042-01

Sale Price: $60,000


Docket No. A-17-03-02

The Board unanimously approved the issuance of a limousine certificate of public convenience to provide luxury limousine service in the City of Philadelphia.

Applicant: Grayling LM, LLC

CPC Application No.: A-1035666-07


Docket No. P-17-02-01

At the request of the taxicab industry and without objection, the Board unanimously approved an amendment to the “flat-rate” zone boundaries for all taxicab trips between the Center City zone and Philadelphia International Airport. The flat-rate of $29.05 will remain the same. However, the new flat-rate zone takes effect July 1st, 2017 and is as follows:

The area between the Schuykill and Delware Rivers between Washington Avenue and Fairmount Avenue. West of the Schuykill River, the northern boundary continues west along the north side of 30th Street Station on 2900 Arch, then southward on 30th Street to its intersection with Market Street. The boundary proceeds west along the north side of Market Street to 48th Street, south on 48th Street to Spruce Street and east on Spruce Street to its intersection with South Street.



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Where to Park for the LGBT Pride Parade and Festival

Philadelphia has some pretty colorful names for places. Think about it: We have Fishtown, The Schuylkill River, and Queens Village just to start. But when someone mentions the Gayborhood, you know exactly where that is: home to some of the best food, drinks and shopping Philadelphia has to offer. Now we probably have you thinking about the next time you should get your Green Eggs fix or a chocolate budino from Barbuzzo, right?

Let’s Get Right Into It:

On Sunday, June 18, the Gayborhood will expand to celebrate love in all forms, shapes and sizes with one of the city’s hottest annual events as Philly Pride hosts the 28th Annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival!

The parade kicks off at 13th and Locust Streets at 11:30 a.m. with 25,000 participants parading down Market Street. Judges will do what they do best at 5th and Market street as elaborate and colorful floats serenade passersby. The festivities will continue all the way down to Penn’s Landing until 1 p.m.

Now Let’s Get You Parked:

If you plan on heading to the parade, you’ll have three convenient parking options along the parade route. Check out the options below and see what works best for you.

Need more parking guidance during the parade? Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll get you squared away.


8th & Chestnut streets


  • Weekends – $10 per day (Saturday and Sunday)



5th & Market streets


  • Early Bird, Enter between 6-9 a.m., exit by 6 p.m. – $14.00
  • Up to 1/2 hour – $4.00
  • Up to 1 hour – $8.00
  • Up to 1 1/2 hours – $12.50
  • Up to 2 hours – $17.50
  • Up to 10 hours – $20.00
  • Up to 24 hours – $22.00



2nd & Sansom streets


  • Early Bird – Enter by 9 a.m., exit by 6 p.m. – $10.50
  • Up to 1/2 hour – $4.00
  • Up to 1 hour – $8.00
  • Up to 1 1/2 hours – $12.50
  • Up to 2 hours – $16.50
  • Up to 12 hours – $18.50
  • Up to 24 hours – $20.50

Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

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PPA at Work: Parking Enforcement Officers Receive Counter-Terrorism Training

One of the guiding principles of the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s (PPA)  mission is to ensure the safety of Philadelphia’s residents and visitors. With over 200 Parking Enforcement Officers patrolling the streets, the PPA is in a unique position to continually assist law enforcement agencies in combating terrorism.

Acknowledging the unique role our officers have, the PPA has partnered with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism Operations in providing situational awareness training to identify scenarios that could potentially bring harm to the general public.

Speaking to the officers in training, Executive Director, Clarena Tolson, said, “ We not only have a unique responsibility, but we also have the skillset and physical presence to provide an additional layer of security to our City and country.”

Upon receiving the training from the Philadelphia Police Department, officers will be well equipped and prepared with invaluable knowledge to continuously enhance the safety of the general public.

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Parking 101: A Workshop on Avoiding Parking Tickets


We want parking your vehicle to be the least of your worries when you drive in the city to work, play or visit.  That’s why we are excited to offer this free workshop to anyone who feels the same.

If you:

1)  Get parking tickets

2)  Find parking signs confusing

3)  Cringe at the thought of parallel parking

4)  Want to learn how to avoid tickets and park safely in the city

Then, we cordially invite you to attend our FREE public workshop- “Street Parking 101.”

On Saturday, June 17th, 2017, we will host a two-hour, fact and fun-filled workshop from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at our headquarters, located at 701 Market Street.

SPACE WILL BE LIMITED, so please send an email today to to register and find out more information.  Registration will be closed on Friday, June 9th at 5:00.

  •    Hear from your own Parking Enforcement Officers the tricks to avoid tickets and readily understand any parking sign you may come across!
  •    Get one-on-one, hands on instruction from a certified driving instructor on how to parallel park like a pro!
  •    Learn tips on parking and driving safety for two and four wheeled vehicles!

Spend your Saturday morning with us, complete the course, and then enjoy two hours of complimentary parking on us at our newly renovated Parkade on 8th parking garage!  We encourage you to enjoy your afternoon with nearby shopping, wonderful eating establishments and great historical attractions.

Again, SPACE WILL BE LIMITED, so please send an email today to to register and find out more information. Registration will be closed on Friday, June 9th at 5:00.

We look forward to seeing you on June 17th!

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PPA Funding Part 1


The Philadelphia Parking Authority has multiple priorities and goals that guide our daily operations. These goals include:

  • Provide comprehensive on-street parking management services.
  • Set standards of excellence and fair pricing through the construction and management of off-street parking facilities.
  • Assist in presenting a first rate introduction to the region by providing attractive, user friendly, on-site parking facilities at the Philadelphia International Airport.
  • Ensure safe, attractive, reliable taxicab, limousine and transportation network services through sound regulations and consistent enforcement.
  • Improve traffic and pedestrian safety through automated red light camera enforcement at dangerous intersections.
  • Apply new technology and continue professional staff development to ensure the highest quality public service and the greatest efficiency in all operations.

As we strive to accomplish these goals, and in accordance with the law,  we are also responsible to provide revenue to the City’s general fund and Philadelphia School District.

How these funds are disbursed to the City’s general fund and Philadelphia School District can be confusing and complex to understand. With that said, we aim to explain how these funds are disbursed in the below FAQs:


What PPA Revenue Streams are Allocated for the City’s General Fund and Philadelphia School District?

By law, all of PPA’s on-street operations net revenue is allocated to the City’s general fund and Philadelphia School District.  On-street operations revenue is generated from meter payments, permit fees, parking fines, vehicle auction proceeds and booting and towing fees.


How much of the PPA’s On-Street Revenue is given to the City’s General Fund and Philadelphia School District?


By law, each fiscal year the PPA is responsible to provide all net-revenue from on-street operations to the City’s General Fund and Philadelphia School District. In fiscal year 2017, we provided over forty-five million dollars ($45 million) to the City’s General Fund and Philadelphia School District.


How much of the PPA’s On-Street Revenue is forwarded to the City’s General Fund?

In 2014, the PA General Assembly set an annual minimum threshold of thirty-five million dollars ($35 million) to be disbursed to the City’s general fund. By law, it was also mandated that any percentage increase in gross revenue from on-street operations in a given fiscal year is applied to the total amount given to the City’s general fund.  In Fiscal Year 2017 we contributed $35,350,417 to the City’s general fund.


Explain the  “percentage increase” to me. What is it?

In 2014, the PA General Assembly’s legislation also provided a formula to annually raise the minimum amount of thirty-five million dollars ($35 million) given to the City’s general fund based off the prior year’s increase in gross revenue. That minimum has increased to over thirty-seven million dollars ($37 million) and can never drop, even during a decrease in on-street operations gross revenue due to weather emergencies or other factors.  


In Fiscal Years 2015 -2017, less than thirty-seven million dollars ($37 million) was disbursed to the City’s General Fund. Why?

Beginning in fiscal year 2015, it was agreed that Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (BAA) expenses would be charged to the City (General Fund) so funding to the School District would not be affected.  This resulted in an extra three million dollars ($3 million) being disbursed to the School District between fiscal years 2015 and 2017.


How much of the PPA’s On-Street Revenue is forwarded to the Philadelphia School District?

Also in accordance with the law, after the minimum is disbursed to the City’s general fund, the Philadelphia School District receives the remaining net-revenue generated from on-street parking operations.  In Fiscal Year 2017 we contributed $9,766,043 to the Philadelphia School District. Unlike the City’s general fund, there is no minimum threshold amount disbursed to the Philadelphia School District.


Can the PPA designate how funds are distributed to the City’s General Fund and/or Philadelphia School District?

The Parking Authority has no say in how these funds are distributed.  Mandated by statute according to Act 84, passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2012, all net revenues from on-street parking operations are disbursed to the City’s general fund and Philadelphia School District.


Is there a breakdown of how the funds were disbursed throughout the past fiscal years?

Yes, the chart below provides a breakdown of how funds were disbursed to the  City’s General Fund and School District between fiscal years 2015 and 2017. Between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, an average of forty-six million dollars ($46 million) was disbursed to the City’s General Fund and Philadelphia School District.




The financial figures for Fiscal Year 2017 provided within are unaudited and are subject to change. 



Towey Recreation Center: Malerie Yolen-Cohen 

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PPA at Work: Officers Instructed on Supporting Public Safety

The job of a Parking Enforcement Officer entails more than just issuing parking violations.  As a large force that is present daily on our city streets, they can be the eyes and ears for other city agencies, as well as ambassadors for the public in general. In a continued effort to support public safety, officers report dangerous street conditions, malfunctioning traffic lights as well as report children and dogs left alone in vehicles.

In recognizing the important role your enforcement officers can play, the PPA is partnering with Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services and Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual Disability Services to provide  officers with comprehensive Homeless Services and Behavioral Health training.

Speaking to the officers in training, PPA Executive Director, Clarena Tolson said, “As a public service agency with hundreds of boots on the ground on a daily basis, we’re happy to expand the city’s resources and help support safety on our streets.”

This comprehensive safety initiative educates our officers by first teaching them to recognize circumstances that may have the potential to put members of the public in danger.  They are also taught what to do if this situation arises and who they should contact to address the situation.  This training will assist us in not only keeping our employees safe on the streets, but others as well.

To learn more about Philadelphia’s homeless population, visit the  websites of  Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services or Department of Behavioral Health & Disability Services.  

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Funding PPA Municipal Lots

A vital component of our obligation to residents and visitors is to provide safe, affordable and convenient off-street parking options in our city.

Recognizing the limited street space available in our neighborhoods, we operate and maintain 43 neighborhood lots throughout the city. Of those 43 lots, 25 are free to both residents and visitors alike. Additionally, we also provide 18 neighborhood lots that charge a nominal daily or monthly fee for parking.

As we strive to provide quality services to the public, there are significant on-going maintenance costs. Lots are kept clear of snow in the winter, clean at all times, well lit, and safe for vehicles and pedestrians alike.

Advertising is one option we have used for over 20 years at these lots to allow us to continue providing this service at little or no cost to the public, while at the same time help off-set the annual cost to maintain the lots.

By law, all revenue generated from off-street parking fees and advertising are not combined with the revenue produced by on-street operations.  Additionally, on-street revenue is directed to the City’s general fund and School District and cannot be used to maintain off-street facilities. This year on-street operations generated over forty-seven million dollars ($47 million) for the City’s general fund and School District.

We hope to continue in our mission to provide safe, affordable and convenient off-street parking options and welcome input from the public.  We invite you to partner with us to craft a solution that will work for your neighborhood and also allow us to provide you with this service in the most cost-effective manner.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Please reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook, or directly to our Facilities Director at

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Getting Parked During the NFL Draft

If the past year has taught us anything about Philly, it’s that we know how to host big events—and we’ll be reminded of our event hosting prowess from April 27-29 as the NFL Draft sets up shop on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

With more than 200,000 fans expected to attend, the 2017 NFL Draft Experience will offer families and devoted NFL fans a plethora of interactive experiences, including a 100-yard zipline and a selfie opportunity with the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy! Not a bad deal considering the draft experience is free to attend. For the complete run-down on the must-do attractions during the 2017 NFL Draft Experience, click here.

A word to the wise: To gain access to exclusive events during the NFL Draft Experience, register for the Fan Mobile Pass.

Now onto parking:
First things first: Throughout the duration of the NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience, there will be traffic and parking restrictions on and around the Ben Franklin Parkway. For a comprehensive list of the restrictions, click here. Maps highlighting the traffic and parking restrictions can also be seen here.  

Residential Parking Permit Holders:
From Monday, April 24 – Monday, May 8, residents who have a valid residential parking permit for District Zone 6 will be permitted to park in District Zone 17. Additionally, District Zone 17 permit holders will be permitted to park within District Zone 6 if necessary. The boundaries for District Zones 6 and 17 can be found here.

Note: Any vehicle not in possession of a valid District Zone 6 and/or District Zone 17 permit parked within these zones will be subject to ticketing after exceeding the posted time limit.

Free Parking for Draft Attendees:
Those attending the NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience can park for FREE at the sports stadium complex located in South Philadelphia. If you plan on parking at the sports stadium complex, you’re encouraged to utilize SEPTA’s Broad Street Line subway, located at Pattison Avenue and Broad Street.  

PPA Parking Facilities Near the NFL Draft:
If you’d rather park closer to all the festivities on the Parkway, the PPA operates three facilities within close walking distance. Check out the rates and locations below. As always, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook with any questions!


Gateway Parking Garage:
1540 Vine Street


  • Up to 20 Minutes – $3.00
  • Each Additional 20 Minutes (or portion)  – $3.00
  • Up to 10 Hours – $18.00
  • Up to 24 Hours – $22.00
  • Evening Rates (M-F enter AFTER 5 p.m., exit by 9 a.m.) – $5.00
  • Weekend Rate – (Sat & Sun, must exit by Monday at 9am) – $7 per day


19th & Callowhill Low
1901 Callowhill Street


  • Up to 1 hour – $6.00
  • Up to 2 hours – $11.00
  • Up to 12 hours – $17.00
  • Up to 24 hours – $19.00


  • Early Bird – Enter before 9 a.m., Exit by 6 p.m. (Monday through Friday) – $11.00
  • Weekends – $11.00 (Flat Rate Per Day)
  • Evening (enter after 5 p.m., exit by 6 a.m. Monday-Friday) – $9.00


Family Courthouse Garage:
1503-11 Arch Street


  • Up to 1 hour: $13.00
  • Up to 1 1/2 hours: $18.00
  • Up to 2 hours: $24.00
  • Up to 12 hours: $26.00


  • Early Bird – Enter by 9 a.m., exit by 7 p.m. (Monday through Friday) – $16.00
  • Evenings rate after 5 p.m. (exit by 6 a.m.) – $10.00
  • Weekend rate (per day, exit by 6 a.m.) – $12.50
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Where to Park for the Philadelphia Science Festival


Put your thinking caps on: On April 21, the Philadelphia Science Festival returns for its 7th year! Organized by the Franklin Institute, the nine-day, citywide festival aims to celebrate and build a community around science, engineering and technology to perhaps inspire the next Einstein.

Through April 29, the festival will boast more than 80 events ranging from family outings to workshops for all ages scattered throughout Philly. Get a sneak peak of the festival in the promo reel below:


YouTube player

The grand finale comes on Saturday, April 29 during the Science Carnival at Penn’s Landing, where event-goers will be treated to live entertainment, geeky games and dynamic demonstrations. Sound like your cup of tea? Plan ahead and map out your experience by checking out the event guide here.

Before unleashing the nerdiness within you, let’s get you parked. With all the events and workshops scattered throughout Philly, you’ll find conveniently located parking at one of our seven Center City garages. If you’re holding out for the Science Carnival on April 29, our Old City AutoPark is located only blocks away from the festivities. Check out the rates below and give us a holler on Twitter or Facebook if you have any questions!


Old City AutoPark:
2nd & Sansom Streets


  • Up to 1/2 hour – $4.00
  • Up to 1 hours – $8.00
  • Up to 1 1/2 hours – $12.50
  • Up to 2 hours – $16.50
  • Up to 12 hours – $18.50
  • Up to 24 hours – $20.50


Early Bird – Enter by 9 a.m., exit by 6 p.m. – $10.50

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