State to End Inspection Rebates
Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein today announced that at the end of the month the State will not renew a program that partially reimburses private inspection facilities (PIFs) for each automobile emissions and safety inspection they perform.
"Our decision to eliminate the $25 rebate is based on cost factors and an analysis of inspections that shows the discounts did not increase the share of inspections being performed at private facilities," Weinstein said. "But our analysis shows that there is a dedicated customer base that will continue to use the PIFs whether we offer rebates or not."
Weinstein said that the PIFs have maintained a 24 to 25 percent market share for initial inspections since January when the State began offering private inspection facility operators a $25 reimbursement for every inspection performed. Since January, approximately $6.3 million has been spent on the State's rebate program with 1,153 of 1,362 eligible PIFs participating in the rebate program.
Weinstein said that over the last 14 years (1986 -1999) the average PIF market share has been 25.6 percent of initial inspections with an average of 3,600 PIFs available to the public each year.
"The numbers demonstrate that the PIF community, whose ranks have diminished considerably over the years, have lost only a slight amount of market share when averaged over the last decade," Weinstein added. "This means that PIFs today are handling roughly the same amount of business as they did years ago when their numbers were more than double."
The Commissioner said the State will continue to promote PIF usage through advertising. "This program was never meant to be perpetual. It was initially supposed to conclude at the end of June. We kept it running longer until central inspection lanes were fully operational as they have been since August 1," Weinstein added, noting that wait times systemwide since August have averaged eight minutes.
In a related matter, Weinstein said the State has settled all outstanding contractual issues with Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group, the operator of the State's central inspection facilities. Parsons has agreed to pay $1.5 million in penalties for non-compliance with its contract.