3/16/2007Dallas Parking Ticket Quota Exposed
Dallas, Texas wins a $6 million payout if it writes 198,000 parking tickets.
The contract between the city of Dallas, Texas and parking ticket collections contractor Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) requires meter maids to write a specific number of tickets every year. In return for a $2.5 million cut of the revenue, ACS handles all aspects parking meter operations except the issuance of tickets. That's the job of Dallas meter maids who must write 198,000 citations to win an annual payment of just under $6 million, according to the contract terms.
"If you have to write 198,000 tickets, isn't that really a quota?" WFAA-TV reporter David Schechter asked Zena Ferino, the head meter maid for Dallas. "No. Absolutely not," she responded.
The specific number of tickets that each meter maid must write is determined by a formula of 85 to 110 percent of the number of tickets written by meter maids in the past. This formula is used to force each meter maid to issue the number of citations needed to meet the overall revenue goal. Those that fail to do so are disciplined with "re-education" training.
"They say we don't have quotas -- that's what I'm told," an anonymous meter maid said in an interview with WFAA. "But you know how that goes."
In 2003, before the current contract took effect, the city issued just 150,000 tickets.