June 15, 2006
Fewer tickets, more collections

Fewer drivers are getting parking tickets in Houston, but those that do are much more likely to end up paying them.

The city has issued about 170,000 parking tickets so far this fiscal year, which runs through June 30, down nearly a third from the same period four years ago, according to the Parking Department. But this year through February, the most recent statistics available, 86 percent of those tickets were paid, compared with 62 percent in 2003.

Fewer tickets have been dismissed because better-trained parking enforcement officers now make fewer technical errors, said Liliana Rambo, assistant director of parking management.

"We're doing a better job at what we do. We're training officers better," Rambo said. "We're being more accurate."

The most dramatic annual decrease in tickets - 25 percent this year over last - can be attributed at least partly to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Rambo said.

Whatever the reason, this is how you want it to be. Tickets that get dismissed, especially those that were issued in error, are a waste of resources for the city and a pain in the neck for the poor saps who got them. If the city is being more efficient in who they ticket, good for them.

Since I can never resist numbers, I'll do a little crunching. The print version of this story had a chart that said there were 243,094 parking tickets issued in Fiscal Year 2003, and 169,330 for FY 2006. Sixty-two percent, or about 150,718 tickets were paid off for FY03, while 86 percent, or 145,624 tickets were paid off for FY06. Nearly as many paid tickets, nearly 70,000 fewer tossed ones. Nicely done.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 15, 2006 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack