COVID-19 has exposed inequalities that have placed disadvantaged communities at the most economic risk during the pandemic. To counter financial impacts on these communities, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) implemented a number of policies, using Conduent Transportation’s curbside management technologies, to alleviate the financial strain of parking citation debt and protect vulnerable residents from the economic impacts of the crisis.
LADOT has long offered installment payment plans to motorists with parking citations, but the pandemic underscored the need for additional relief programs. In its efforts to serve a large and economically diverse constituency, LADOT developed unique, innovative payment options that led to its selection by the National Parking Association as a 2020 Innovative Organization of the Year. Programs include:
- Extended Plans for Low-Income Customers. In addition to general payment plans, LADOT offers longer-term plans for indigent or low-income customers. As of January 2021, customers can participate in a payment plan for up to two years by meeting low-income requirements or demonstrating participation in a public assistance program. As a result, the city will waive penalties and suspend vehicle registration holds for qualifying participants.
- Parking Citation Amnesty. For a limited time, motorists can take advantage of LADOT’s penalty forgiveness program. The citation amnesty program reduces late fees owed on any past due citations that are at least three years old. Nearly 500,000 citations are eligible with the potential of $42.3 million in waived penalties. The program ends June 30, 2021, at which time, penalties are to be reinstated.
- Unemployment Penalty Waiver Program. During the early months of the pandemic, unemployment hovered near 21 percent in Los Angeles. Although this rate has dropped in recent months, many people were impacted. In turn, LADOT created this program to help motorists who lost their jobs during the pandemic. Any customer providing proof of unemployment after March 4, 2020 can have their accrued parking citation penalties waived. Documentation can be submitted electronically through Conduent Transportation’s Merge solution to help mitigate in-person queuing and improve processing time. Applications must be completed prior to June 30, 2021 to qualify.
- Early Pay LA. LADOT and Conduent Transportation expeditiously developed an Early Pay LA incentive program to enable implementation contemporaneously with the Unemployment Penalty Waiver Program. Early Pay LA was initially implemented in November 2020 as an incentive for customers to pay eligible parking citations early. Customers who pay their tickets online, by phone, or in-person within 48 hours receive a $20 discount. Eligible citations include street sweeping, oversized vehicles, and preferential parking permits.
- Community Assistance Program Parking (CAPP). LADOT offers alternatives for homeless individuals including the Community Assistance Program, which allows homeless individuals to perform community service in lieu of paying for a parking citation.
Conduent Transportation continues to provide system and operational support for LADOT’s socially-responsible parking policies. Conduent’s violations processing solutions enable flexible payment plans and relief programs for LADOT and cities across the United States. These initiatives relieve the financial strain on disadvantaged individuals, while serving as a cornerstone for establishing fair and equitable curbside management programs.