The rollout of paid parking at Reston Town Center has been put on hold until January of 2017, RTC parking spokesman Rob Weinhold said on Wednesday.
The paid parking system was slated to go into effect on Monday, Sept. 12.
RTC owners Boston Properties has invested in a ParkRTC App with LiveSafe technology, as well as electronic parking availability signs, Bluetooth-enabled validation and other high-tech systems for the 25-year-old town center, which has always had free parking.
Weinhold says the decision was made based on consumer and tenant feedback as many in the community were not embracing the technology (still more are upset at the $2-an-hour charge on weekdays and thousands have signed a petition asking Boston Properties to keep parking free).
“The postponement will allow additional time to educate customers,” Weinhold said. “We will continue our outreach efforts.”
Boston Properties says it still plans to instill paid parking. The company previously said it was going to to the new system to cut down on abuse by Metro commuters, who are using RTC’s seven garages as parking while they hop a shuttle to Metro’s Silver Line station at Wiehle-Reston East.
The Silver Line station at Reston Town Center is still years away from opening in early 2020.
“There is no question Reston Town Center remains committed to strategies which enhance overall customer experience,” Peter D. Johnston, Boston Properties’ Executive Vice President for the Washington, D.C. Region, said in a statement. “The digital parking and mobile safety integration is an enormous step in advancing both of these historical and very worthwhile goals. We will continue to invest in the Reston community through world-class facilities, family-oriented events, top brand attractions, innovative technologies and nonprofit donations. A safe, family-friendly environment is always our top priority.”
Meanwhile, tenants got this message from Boston Properties today:
I hope this message finds you well. As you know, Reston Town Center is scheduled to fully activate both ParkRTC and LiveSafe, two integrated digital parking and mobile safety technology apps, next Monday, September 12th. However, after continuing to meet with tenants, listen to customer concerns and comprehensively assess the roll-out timing, we have decided to postpone paid parking activation until January 2017.
The LiveSafe app will continue to be available for free download and will be fully operational on October 1st of this year (after downloading the ParkRTC app). We encourage people to download the LiveSafe app so users are able to familiarize themselves with the innovative technology in a substantive manner.
While the postponement will not change our long-term parking policies, it will give us additional time to comprehensively educate our customers about the new technologies. To that end, Reston Town Center will continue its outreach efforts and work toward achieving a greater level of understanding and comfort among its customer base, while moving toward a seamless paid parking transition in January 2017.
There is no question Reston Town Center Management remains committed to strategies which enhance overall customer experience. The digital parking and mobile safety integration is an enormous step in advancing both of these historical and very worthwhile goals. And, we will continue to invest in the Reston community through world-class facilities, family-oriented events, top brand attractions, innovative technologies and nonprofit donations. A safe, family-friendly environment is always our top priority.
Our team will continue to proactively engage with you regarding these very important initiatives. However, if you have any immediate questions, please contact your property manager. Thank you very much for your continued partnership, patience and understanding.