Pay-by-phone parking could soon come to Minneapolis

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2014 - 9:35 PM
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Former Mayor R. T. Rybak demonstrated one of Minneapolis' Wi-fi parking meters which takes credit and debit cards and uses Wi-fi to authenticate them.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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Paying for parking in Minneapolis? There may soon be an app for that.

City staff members are preparing to solicit proposals for a system that would allow drivers to pay for metered parking using their phones. Houston, Seattle and Washington, D.C., already have such capability.

The proposal, which is to be discussed at the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting on Tuesday, comes just over a year after the city completed its switch to more-modern parking meters.

The system probably would allow customers to add time to the meter from any location, as well as pay from inside the car during adverse weather. It also may send a text message when a meter is about to expire.

A staff report indicates that drivers without smartphones could conduct the transaction using a regular mobile phone.

If the City Council approves, staff members expect to solicit proposals in February, select a vendor this summer and possibly deploy the system in the fall.

The city is exploring other improvements to metered parking, such as using parking data in an app to guide drivers to open spots.

Eric Roper

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