Wednesday in Israel brought Parx, manufacturer of in car meters, and Sandra Smith, head of Parking for the City of Whistler, BC. She is a customer of Parx, and a long time friend of its head, Arnon Efraty. Sandra and I left Tel Aviv early. We had a two and a half hour drive to Rosh Pina, in the far north of the country, about 10 miles from Lebanon.
Parx is a division of OTI, a high tech manufacturer in Rosh Pina. Their facility is ultra modern, upscale, and fully self contained. Employees ate at the company canteen and relaxed at the in house gym. OTI takes care of its own.
Arnon discussed the evolution of his product and how it fits into the parking environment. He is frustrated by his inability to introduce the product into North America (Sandra is one of his few customers) but proud of his success in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. Here he is in his factory:
The meters are slick. You can program them on line (usb port) or through a smart card that you can ‘top up’ at locations throughout the municipality using the technology. Just enter the zone where you are parking, turn it on and put it in your window. Enforcement officers see it running and you don’t get a citation. If its timed out, you do. The beauty for the city is that they get the fees for parking up front and the users don’t have to deal with meters, P and D, or credit cards and coins.
Arnon’s company also has an extremely complete Pay by Cell Phone system which is running world wide. He doesn’t spend a lot of time promoting it. “A city wanting to use the system simply contacts me and I give them a password and they are good to go. Its an easy way to get to know this technology with no commitment.”
Parx is located near the sea of Galilee and the trip back to Tel Aviv took us through familiar Biblical areas. Like The mount of the Beatitudes:
Capernaum, and the stone on which the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes occurred. You could spend weeks exploring this part of the Holy Land but we had only hours so we headed back to Tel Aviv and our next day with Pango and Jerusalem.