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Proposal would have parking fees paid by smart phones

April 24, 2014 News Extra

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Parking in the city may soon be managed through a smart phone.

The city parking authority listened to a proposal at its meeting Wednesday night that would allow residents to pay for parking through a smart phone app.

Joe Habib, a sales director with Pango Mobile Parking based in New York City, made the nearly hourlong pitch to the authority.

The parking meters in the city would stay, but drivers looking to park their cars along a metered space also would be able to pay using their phone.

Drivers would need to have an account with the city through Pango’s service, and have the company’s app downloaded to their smart phone.

Drivers would load the app, select the zone they wish to park in, and hit start.

The zones on the app would likely be separated based on the different lots and the tier garage.

Drivers who do not have a smart phone could use the system by dialing a number and using voice commands.

“This is the future,” Habib said. “Everything is done through smartphones and tablets. It’s just an easy way for consumers to pay for parking.”

By pushing the start button, the driver’s previously registered license plate, linked to their account, would show up as a paid parker on the city’s own monitoring system.

The city meter monitors would check vehicles registered by their license plate numbers, which would be alphabetically displayed on an app of their own.

The city meter monitors would use an iPad device, provided free by Pango, to access their app.

If a meter monitor sees a license plate in a space not on their system, it would indicate the driver either has not paid or has exceeded the time allotment, and would be issued a ticket.

Drivers would receive an alert on their phone when their parking time runs out, and would have the option to add more time to the space from their phone.

Monthly permit parking also would be run through Pango’s system.

Mayor Tom Donaldson, who attended the meeting, said the city would follow the authority’s lead should it explore the service.

“We have a vested, joint interest,” Donaldson said.

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