Ticketbuster: DDOT sends out bad visitor parking passes to D.C. residents

WASHINGTON — Ten days after the D.C. Department of Transportation sent out new Visitor Parking Passes (VPPs) for 2015, WTOP has learned that an error has resulted in residents across the city getting outdated passes.

Residents from Wards 2, 3, 4 and 6 contacted WTOP Thursday to report the problem.

“DC Department of Transportation have just issued the Visitor Parking Pass (one per household upon application) for Oct 1, 2014 to Sept 30, 2015. But sadly the permits have the wrong dates on them. The permits states: expires September 30, 2014. The accompanying letter also has the wrong dates,” writes Maggie Hall, from Ward 6.

Others reported the same thing.

“I can confirm this is correct. The expiration date on the one I received [Thursday] is September 30th, 2014. What a mess!” writes ANC6B Vice Chair Ivan Frishberg.

DC Councilmember Mary Cheh reached out to DDOT on Thursday evening to get answers on the issue.

“We have determined that individuals who went on the website early registered for 2014 passes, when they believed that they were registering for 2015 ones. The 2015 pass website opened in early October,” writes DDOT Director Matt Brown, in an e-mail obtained by WTOP.

“I also do not know why the contractor mailed 2014 passes in December, and we are addressing that with them. There were two batches of 2014 passes (I don’t yet know the number) that were recently mailed. Those individuals / applications will be converted to 2015 passes, and those will be mailed, per the contractor, next week. If your pass is in this batch, you will receive a 2015 pass,” adds Brown.

However, it is unclear whether all those affected with these bad VPPs actually did apply before Oct. 1.

“That does not seem right to me. I registered on the website at the end of November,” writes Frishberg, providing a copy of a receipt from DDOT sent on Nov. 30, 2014, at 9:04 a.m.

The receipt was sent from the e-mail address vpp@dc.gov, the address used to generate automatic messages for DDOT.

DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders says the agency will investigate the matter fully and will have more to say in the coming days.

Visitor parking passes allow Maryland or Virginia residents visiting friends in the District of Columbia to temporarily park in residential parking zones without being subject to the two-hour limit.

DDOT extended the expiration of the 2014 passes until Dec. 31 because the agency is moving to a new system next year to help prevent fraud in the system.

In the past, people would obtain passes they didn’t need and sell them for profit.

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