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Seattle Parks and Recreation Annual Report - 2007


Customer Service

Robin O'Leary at the Southwest Pool demonstrates how the new Quick Card works.In 2007, we vastly improved customer service by completing the rollout of a new electronic registration, reservation and point-of-sale system. The new software system modernizes our business practices, making it easier and more efficient for customers to register for classes and programs, reserve parks, shelters and facilities, and pay for services electronically. Customers can also register online using the system, Seattle Parks and Recreation Connection (SPARC).
One example of improved service is at Amy Yee Tennis Center, where demand for tennis classes outstrips supply. Summer tennis instruction is so popular that - in the past - anyone who wanted to register for classes at the center had to fill out paper forms and enter a lottery. It typically took employees three to four weeks to sort out the lottery and notify registrants of their acceptance into a class. The new electronic system does away with the lottery and reduces registration to between one and three days. In addition, staff can monitor what type of classes are filling the most quickly, and add programming whenever possible.

Also this year, we rolled out Quick Cards at our aquatic facilities to make it easier for patrons to enjoy our pools. Until this year, if you wanted to take a class or enroll in a program at one of our pools, you would have purchased a paper punch card. This time-consuming method required pool patrons to interact with pool cashiers every time they wanted to use the pool, sometimes standing in long lines. The new Quick Card, with picture ID, allows swimmers to bypass lines by simply swiping their cards through an electronic reader, which deducts a fee directly from a pre-paid account.

The project that rolled out all these electronic efficiencies - called the Pyramid Project - has been called one of the most successful technology projects the City has ever undertaken because of the value that's been returned to users and the fact that it rolled out on time and under budget. In 2007, the project won the City's Excellence in Information Technology Project Management Award.

Next time you want to find a yoga class or sign your kid up for an arts and crafts class, check out our electronic registration system online at Just click on SPARC!

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Updated March 28, 2008

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