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In Conversation with Bob Youakim, Passport Co-founder and CEO: ‘We Deliver Streamlined Management of Mobility Solutions through Our Operating System to Support City Governments’

thesiliconreview-bob-youakim-ceo-passport-21Passport is a transportation software company, delivering the operating system that enables cities to manage vehicle interactions with streets and sidewalks. The company helps cities create more efficient transportation systems and mobility operations by equipping cities with better technology to collect revenue from drivers, enforce compliance, and use data to make smarter policy decisions.

Passport was established in 2010 and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bob Youakim, Passport Co-founder and CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your services in brief.

Passport equips cities with real-time data and modern payment infrastructure to help manage public streets and sidewalks more efficiently. We focus on helping cities manage their parking, which has a huge impact on the quality and efficiency of their transportation system. Our solutions are delivered through the Passport Operating System, which makes it easy for our clients to manage all of the components of modern mobility management, including mobile payments for parking, digital permits, parking enforcement, and micro-mobility management.

Q. What are the different sectors that your company is focusing on mobility solutions?

We create products that improve the way that cities, agencies, universities, and private operators manage their operations – from parking and enforcement to embedded payments. Passport also works with a partner ecosystem to drive app engagement, deliver benefits to users, and facilitate digital transactions through native app experiences. With Passport, cities can offer multiple payment options for parking, providing their communities with more access while managing and enforcing all options through one easy-to-use system.

Q. Do you think that there is a need for developing a simplistic concept for mobility solutions?

At Passport, we believe paying to park digitally should be as simple and as accessible as possible. Our goal is to help cities bring parking payments into everyday apps users already have while providing industry-leading management and reporting tools.

Q. Tell us about the safety features and convenience of your mobility solutions?

We believe in the importance of data privacy, and our platform was built from the ground up with the protection of our clients and user communities in mind. At Passport, we are committed to helping our client cities provide mobility solutions to users in a way that does not create security or personal risk. Maintaining the privacy and security of user information is our top priority to meet this commitment.

Additionally, the Passport Operating System unlocks a revolutionary open ecosystem model for convenient parking payments. With an open ecosystem, motorists gain the freedom to choose their preferred app to pay for parking, and cities manage all the app vendors seamlessly—without additional effort, contracts, or complexity.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

Passport opened its parking payment APIs this past year to allow mobile app developers to help solve some of the mobility industry’s greatest challenges. Recent partnerships include Google Maps and Google Pay.  To make the parking experience easier and more efficient, we also partnered with PlusPass, PapayaPay, and iAccess Life. Passport plans to continue to expand its partnerships to facilitate parking payments through the Passport Operating System and simplify the parking experience.

The Leader at the Helm of Passport

Bob Youakim Co-founded Passport in 2010 to help cities more effectively manage and monetize their curbside assets, starting with their on-street parking programs. His over 20 years of experience in business development, finance, and operations has helped him guide Passport through a decade of rapid growth to its current position as the leading curbside technology provider to cities, powering the operations of over 1000 clients. As a result of this growth, Passport has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists. Prior to founding Passport, Bob served as a vice president in investment banking.

Bob received his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois. Outside of Passport, he loves spending time with his wife and four children and enjoys flying planes as a pilot.

“The Passport Operating System is transforming how vehicles interact with streets and sidewalks through an open parking ecosystem. Our goal is to help cities bring parking payments into everyday apps users already have while providing industry-leading management and reporting tools. This is the first step in creating an easy-to-manage, efficient, and future proof mobility operation.”