downtown los gatos parking
Vehicles line the streets of downtown Los Gatos, Tuesday. The spaces are currently free, but many will soon be converted to paid stalls for part of the day. The Town has been working to get all of its back-end systems ready for the debut. Photo: Drew Penner/Los Gatan

During its last meeting of 2022, Los Gatos Town Council passed a six-figure increase to the amount it will pay to Turbo Data Systems, Inc. for parking permit and ticket processing.

In a unanimous vote, Council agreed to up the amount to send to the Santa Ana-based software company by $110,774 to $206,041.54, to get a three-year subscription extension.

This was passed as part of the consent calendar, which is for matters that won’t receive further discussion in open Council—generally non-controversial items.

The Town has been in the middle of trying to improve traffic flow in the downtown area and direct drivers from limited parking spaces on North Santa Cruz Avenue to lots with abundant spaces elsewhere. It introduced an employee parking program and plans to turn some of the free spots around town to paid ones—though it’s finding the move isn’t going to be a big money-maker and will carry additional costs.

Los Gatos signed a deal with Turbo back in December 2017 for a five-year period.

The company uses a cloud-based system with an online interface that lets drivers view information about their ticket and how they can appeal the citation.

The software can also issue permits (including verifying residence information) and collect fees for Business Employee and Residential vehicles.

“The utilization of Turbo Data Systems has provided a more efficient and effective parking citation and permit issuance system, which is publicly accessible for permit and citation payment processing and has increased staff efficiencies within the parking program,” said Heather St. John, a senior administrative analyst, in a report. “In conjunction with elements of the Downtown Parking Plan, this vendor has also proven to be a valuable partner for parking citation and parking permit coordination for implementation of the Downtown Employee Permit Program.”

Los Gatos officials say there’s enough left in the Fiscal Year 2022/23 operating budget to cover this year’s subscription expense, and that payments will continue to be confirmed annually.

Turbo Data’s fees are based on the number of citations and permits issued, the procedures used for processing data, and equipment being leased on a monthly basis.

Approximately $95,000 was expensed during the original agreement term.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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