Pay-by-phone parking likely on the horizon in Minneapolis

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • January 24, 2014 - 3:33 PM

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

City staff 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 this capability.

The proposal, which will be discussed at a transportation and public works committee on Tuesday, comes just over a year after the city completed its switch to more modern parking meters.

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

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

If the council approves, staff expect to solicit proposals in February, select a vendor this summer and possibly deploy the system in fall 2014.

The city is exploring other improvements to metered parking, such as the possibility of using parking data in a smartphone app to guide drivers to open spots.

Photo: In 2010, Mayor Rybak demonstrated one of Minneapolis' new Wi-fi parking meters, which takes credit and debit cards and uses Wi-fi to authenticate them (Glen Stubbe)

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