After re-evaluating existing contracts with the security companies that manage parking decks throughout campus, Emory University transitioned to a new vendor at the beginning of the month.
Previously, Triple A Parking and Norred & Associates, Inc., handled the parking deck cashiers and attendants separately. The new vendor ST Plus now manages both functions of University parking.
According to Associate Vice President of Parking and Transportation Services Lisa Underwood, the switch to a new company took place as part of a standard reassessment process that typically occurs as contracts reach their expiration date.
“Periodically, it’s pretty standard that the University goes through and re-evaluates all the existing agreements to assure that we’re receiving the highest level of service for our customers,” Underwood explained.
She said that during the process administrators sent out a request for proposals to solicit security companies that would be appropriate to take over. A committee then chose from a selection of companies.
Students and other members of the Emory community also had the opportunity to meet with vendors and offer their opinions, Underwood added.
Once the University selected a new security company, Underwood said, the process of hiring and re-hiring began. According to Underwood, Emory has no say in who contracted companies hire or lay off during the transition period.
However, she said she believes maintaining as much as the former workforce as possible would make the transition easier. Not only would the new company have employees who are experienced working on Emory’s campus, she said, but the change would also be smoother for customers if they see the same people who have helped them in the past.
Underwood noted that when the University urged ST Plus to consider keeping on existing employees, the company obliged and set up a simple application and interview process for all existing and interested employees in the Dobbs University Center (DUC). The location made the application and hiring process as convenient as possible for workers who would have a hard time accessing places off campus, she said.
More than 70 percent of workers employed under Triple A and Norred were hired again under ST Plus, a rate that Underwood said is relatively high for transitions.
“What we communicated officially [to existing employees] was that all interested employees would be considered,” Underwood explained. “We can’t require another company to hire certain people. They hired according to their company standards.”
For the most part, day-to-day functions have remained the same, Underwood said, noting that like the previous vendors, ST Plus is following regulations issued by Parking and Transportation Services. Such regulations include guidelines to boot illegally parked cars and issue fines for parking violations.
Though parking regulations have not been made stricter since the change, Underwood said, new vendors may be more vigilant in both noticing and penalizing violations.
“Anytime you have a transition, a new company is going to notice things that weren’t being noticed before,” she said.
Underwood said that in addition to the change in parking deck security, Parking and Transportation Services is also in the process of planning changes to the shuttle system, including a potential adoption to new equipment.
— Contact Alice Chen