PPA tickets send violators to closed pay station

An insert included with red-light violation ticket points motorists toward a closed pay station. Credit: Tommy Rowan An insert included with red-light violation ticket points motorists toward a closed pay station. Credit: Tommy Rowan

If you’re planning to pay your red-light camera violation ticket at the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s Grant Avenue location, don’t bother.

The Northeast Philadelphia walk-in center closed on April 30.

However, the PPA continues to mail out tickets accompanied by an insert that offers violators the option to pay at the shuttered walk-in center.Motorists looking to pay their tickets won’t realize the mix-up until after reaching the front door.

A sign taped to the door reads, “The office will be CLOSING effective Wednesday, April 30, 2014.”

PPA spokesman Martin O’Rourke said a notice was posted on the website on April 14, but the misleading inserts continue to be mailed out with the tickets.

O’Rourkesaid American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is the designated vendor for the PPA. ATS sends out the notices and collects the violation money, but the contract between the two companies is coming to an end. O’Rourke added that ATS and the PPA are currently embroiled in a lawsuit.

“They have been asked a number of times to change [the inserts],” O’Rourke said. “And because they’re being phased out, they have been asked to change that. And evidently they have not done so as of yet.”

Charles Territo, spokesman for ATS, said his company only received one email from PPA Deputy Executive Director Corinne O’Connor on Monday, April 14, that stated “Please make sure proper notification is received by the public in reference to the walk-in center closure.”

“But our contract with PPA is ending,” Territo said. “We’re in the phase of the contract now called the ‘wind down.'”

Territo said inserts sent along with red-light camera violations after April 30 should not list the Northeast walk-in center as a possible payment location, however, a recent violation obtained by Metro has an issuance date of June 17.

Territo said ATS and PPA are embroiled in a lawsuit, but it has nothing to do with this incident. He added that the two have been in contract since the early 2000s.

The PPA rents the red-light cameras, but keeps the money generated from the violations. The PPA rents a camera for roughly $4,000 per month, per camera, Territo said.

The PPA’s new contract is with Xerox.

The PPA is now asking that people mail it in or pay online or at the downtown location 35 North 8th Street.

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

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