How did the Miami Parking Authority jump in to help the community during COVID?
The first thing we did was shut down enforcement. We have a huge enforcement body to issue tickets for compliance. And we knew people were suffering, so we only enforced areas where parking was prohibited. Then we started planning for how we would give back to the community when we opened back up. The first thing that we did was help restaurants. For restaurants that remained open for pickup and delivery, we set up 40 spaces throughout the city. Then we did a “Welcome Back, Miami” campaign where we gave everyone the first hour free when they pay by phone. We did that for about a month and a half to the tune of about $500,000. People were very grateful—we did a lot transactions and we could tell people were coming back. We also offered restaurants parking spaces so they could expand their tables—sidewalk cafes on the street—and now we are up over 115 spaces. We gave a half a million dollars back to the restaurants, because we would have charged for those spaces. That’s our way of giving back and we know we’re going to do this for quite some time until everybody gets back on their feet.