TAMPA (WFLA) – Often ranked as one of the best airports in the country Tampa International has struggled in the past year to provide five star treatment to some visitors at their parking garage.
Ask almost anyone about TIA and you’re likely to hear this review:
“Wonderful! It’s the best airport in the world as far as I’m concerned,” says Betty Blaylock. She often visits the airport to drop off or pick up friends.
But ask about using the Sunpass service at the garage and you might hear this instead:
“Last time when I was here I did have a problem,” says Salman Muddassir who uses Sunpass to pay for parking at TIA.
The idea is to pay for parking much like one pays for toll roads; using the SunPass transponder to record and pay for the length of time you parked the car. But last year on social media, June 4, 2018, TIA reminded people they would have to forego the ease and grab a ticket to pay as Conduent State & Local Solutions, the company that took over the SunPass tolls, upgraded the system.
Nearly a month later another alert customers using SunPass might need to re-enroll in the program. Since then airport officials have worked with Conduent to fix a variety of problems at their garages.
“That’s not acceptable for Tampa International Airport. That’s not the way we operate. People don’t expect to have hassles at this airport and we won’t allow it. We have to work with the vendor to fix these problems. SunPass is working on it,” says Joe Lopano, the CEO of TIA.
TIA authorities say they haven’t seen issues in the last month or so and that Conduent has made a lot of steps to resolve the problems.
In a statement from the Florida Department of Transportation:
The Department understands the frustration experienced by customers during the implementation of upgrades to the SunPass system. The Department has assessed over $8 million in penalties for Conduent’s operational and performance deficiencies.
The Department will continue to hold Conduent accountable as they work with Tampa International Airport to improve services for customers using SunPass for parking. The improvements include system segregation, fail-safe processes, and optimization for SunPass parking transactions.
Since July of last year, approximately 2.5M SunPass Plus parking transactions totaling about $60M have been processed. The SunPass Plus Parking Program is an easy way for SunPass customers to use their existing transponders to pay for parking at participating airports.
SunPass Plus Parking remains part of the SunPass system, and customers may continue to use their existing SunPass transponders to pay for parking at the airport. The SunPass Plus Parking program is available to SunPass customers enrolled in the Easy Pay program.
The Department has and will continue to work closely with our airport partners, focusing on customer service.