It’s been 12 months since the Galveston Wharves hired its first-ever Mobility director to oversee planning, business development, operations and strategic marketing for parking and ground transportation.
Julio De Leon, an experienced mobility professional, has been a valuable addition to our team. He has helped us improve our business and plan for the future.
Julio has championed a number of advances to improve the customer experience and make our business more profitable, including the following:
• Installed automated parking access and revenue control systems at our cruise parking lots and Shearn Moody Plaza garage
• Launched an effective marketing campaign to capture a greater share of cruise parking business
• Developed branding for parking lots, as well as improved directional signage
• Renegotiated contracts with software vendors to obtain savings to the port’s bottom line
• Increased parking lot maintenance with restriping and other improvements
BOOSTING THE BOTTOM LINE
All of this great work is reflected in port cruise parking and ground transportation revenues. In 2019 cruise parking revenues totaled $8.1 million, an increase of $510,000 over 2018. During the same period, ground transportation providers paid $1.06 million in cruise terminal access fees, an increase of $170,000.
As the nation’s fourth most popular cruise port, we operate seven parking lots and a multi-use parking garage with a total of 3,610 spaces. Until COVID-19 put our cruise business on pause, parking accounted for about 15 percent of our annual revenues.
In addition to cruise passenger parking fees, we collect access fees from shuttle bus, limousine and other operators who drop off and pick up cruise passengers at our two cruise terminals.
These fees fund port security, traffic controls, signage and improvements to the infrastructure that benefit operators and cruise passengers.
Julio recently completed a Ground Transportation Manual that sets standards, regulations and procedures for our ground transportation partners. This manual was adopted by our Board of Trustees in June. It follows industry best practices to promote consistently high-quality, safe and convenient ground transportation services within the port.
In 2019, the port registered 139 companies and 984 vehicles to access port property and make an estimated 200-300 trips per ship call.
In the coming weeks we’ll be communicating this plan to our ground transportation partners. We’re also opening a Parking and Ground Transportation office conveniently located on the ground floor of Shearn Moody Plaza to make it easier for our ground transportation partners to do business with the port.
Our goal is to have the plan implemented and improvements made before cruise operations resume in the coming months.
AND ON ANOTHER TRAFFIC NOTE …
After COVID-19 delays, our traffic study is nearing completion. We’ll be sharing the results and seeking public input once it’s finalized.