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December 3, 2013

DFW officials say new parking system is working better

Demolishing old plazas made it easier for drivers to navigate the automated exit and entry booths.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s new automated parking system is working better, officials said Tuesday.

Drivers traveling into and out of DFW over the extended Thanksgiving weekend had a “positive experience” with the system, and few problems were reported, airport officials told board members.

Ken Buchanan, DFW’s executive vice president of revenue management, said more exit and entry lanes were available to customers during the busy travel period. Demolition of the old plazas was completed before Thanksgiving, making it easier for drivers to see signs informing them which lanes will accept cash, credit or TollTags.

“We are very pleased with the progress we made at Thanksgiving, and now our eyes are set on completing the total project by Christmas,” Buchanan said.

The system appears to be running much more smoothly than when it launched in September. Initially, the system was misreading TollTags and overcharging or undercharging customers for parking. On some days, long lines of vehicles were backed up at the airport’s north exit.

DFW Chief Financial Officer Chris Poinsatte said the airport is receiving around 50 calls a day related to parking system issues, out of about 50,000 transactions a day.

He told the board that the customer service call center received about 40 calls on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, which is typical for a Saturday, and that the calls were related to directions and parking questions rather than problems with the new system.

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