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October 01, 2013

DFW Airport's new parking system still incorrectly charging 450 to 500 customers a day

A few hundred drivers each day are still being improperly charged by DFW Airport’s new automated parking system, the airport’s chief financial officer told board members Tuesday.

Under the new system, which was launched Sept. 4, some drivers using North Texas TollTags are being overcharged, while others aren’t being charged at all.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Poinsatte reported at Tuesday’s committee meeting that the airport continues to see 450 to 500 incorrect transactions per day. So far, refunds to 1,314 customers have been issued, for a total of $77,700.

"We have a number of system fixes we are looking at from an operational standpoint and looking at why these issues are happening, and we’re confident that, over a period of time, we will resolve these issues," Poinsatte told the board, adding that 99.3 percent of 40,000 daily parking transactions are handled correctly. 

He did not indicate how many of the 40,000 were TollTag users. Motorists who use cash or a credit card to pay for parking have not experienced problems. 

It takes longer under the new system to scan TollTags as vehicles enter and exit the airport; sometimes, the tag isn’t scanned at all. Drivers used to the old system, which was a few seconds faster, have backed out of the lane or moved their vehicle to try to get the system to work, causing an incorrect scan.

Board members suggested that the airport install signs asking TollTag users to wait for their tags to be read. Poinsatte said signs are being considered but likely wouldn’t be installed until after the airport finishes demolishing the old parking entrance plazas, which obstruct some of the entrance lanes.

Poinsatte said the airport has increased staffing at its customer call center to respond to complaints and is handling at least 90 percent of the calls.

-Andrea Ahles

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