Ajax waterfront paid parking program earns municipal Excellence Award

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Published July 4, 2022 at 5:29 pm

The Waterfront Parking Management and Permit Program launched last year by the Town of Ajax may not have pleased everyone when it was actually put into practice but the program earned praise for the Town for its creation and implementation, earning a 2022 Municipal Excellence Award from the Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA).

MISA recognizes municipalities for excellence in the use and delivery of technology in new projects, and for setting new standards for other municipalities in those projects. Criteria for the award include projects that align with a municipality’s strategic objectives using information technology, innovation and costs savings/efficiencies.

The Ajax waterfront is the Town’s most popular amenity and is very well-utilized throughout the summer months, especially on the weekends and public holidays.

“The Waterfront Parking Management and Permit Program demonstrates the Town’s commitment to providing convenient, seamless and modern customer-facing technologies to access the Town’s services.” said Nicole Cooper, Ajax’s Director of Legislative & Information Services.

In November 2020, Ajax Council approved an updated Waterfront Management Strategy, which included this new program, supported by technology to enable a modern, paperless permit system which would better balance the costs of waterfront management among residents and visitors and preserve the ability of Ajax residents to enjoy this public space.

The program is entirely technology-supported and paperless, from permit issuance through to enforcement. Through the Town’s By-law Services and IT divisions’ collaborative efforts, the program demonstrates the Town’s goals of consistently administering innovative, convenient and modern ways to serve Ajax customers and access the Town’s services, said Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier.

“I am proud of our decision, although a difficult one, to introduce paid parking for visitors and to make the needed investments in staff and technology to generate the success of this program,” the Mayor added. “Along with improved customer satisfaction and management of our beautiful waterfront, the Town’s By-law and IT divisions have demonstrated the great importance of a focus on always enhancing customer experience and our online systems. It is with this program that the waterfront can be enjoyed comfortably and safely throughout the summer season.”

The Town’s parking permit platform engaged more than 10,000 customers in its inaugural season. Upwards of 7,300 Ajax residents registered within the system for a free seasonal parking permit, and 4,700 visitors to Ajax engaged to purchase a daily non-resident permit. Growing participation is expected for the program’s second season.

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