Robot garage shut down, stranding Hoboken car owners

Robot garage shut down, stranding Hoboken car owners

HOBOKEN - City officials plan to ask for an injunction against the former operators of the Garden Street automated garage, claiming that the Clearwater, Fla-based company found a way to hijack operations of the 314-car facility.

The computer system that operates the first-in-the-nation robotic garage came to a grinding halt early this morning, leaving hundreds of cars trapped in the catacomb-like structure.

Patrick Ricciardi, the city's information technology officer, who has been in charge of the facility since Robotics Parking Inc. was thrown out Tuesday night, said the codes that operate the intricate system of pallets, pulleys and elevators were inexplicably changed, disabling the network.

Employees from Enterprise car rental were at the garage this morning, assisting stranded customers, many of whom were trying to get out of town for the weekend.

City Corporation Counsel Joseph Sherman said he believes Robotics found a way to disable the network.

Dennis Clarke, general manager of Robotics, disputed Sherman's theory.

"I prayed on the beach this morning and (the codes) all changed," Clarke joked.

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