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Smartphones OK’d to pay for parking meters

June 11, 2014 News Extra

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Motorists in the city soon will be able to pay for parking through their smartphones.

The city parking authority agreed Tuesday night to use Pango Mobile Parking’s parking service.

The authority expects to launch the service Aug. 1.

“Customers will be able to use an electronic device to pay to park their vehicles,” said authority Chairman Jim Chiprean.

Drivers will need to have an account with the city through Pango’s service and have the company’s app downloaded to their smartphones.

To park, drivers will load the app, select the zone in the city they want to park in, and press start.

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

For those not interested in using the app, parking meters will stay and continue to accept coins.

“It would only be used as much as the customers accept it,” said board member John Mossman.

Pushing start in the app will register the driver’s license plate number, already linked to their Pango account, into the city’s 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 meter monitors would use iPads, provided free by Pango, to access their app.

If a meter monitor sees a car parked and its license plate is not in the system, and no money has been put in the meter, then the vehicle will receive a parking ticket.

The city has about 1,130 metered spaces.

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