Drivers in downtown St. Paul can now pay the meter without standing out in the cold at a machine.
The city debuted another parking app Tuesday, just one week after it launched a winter parking app that informs people during snow emergencies.
Residents and visitors can register and use the new pay-by-phone service in three different ways. They can download the "PassportParking Mobile Pay" app for free on Google Play or using Apple's App Store. They can also use the website ppprk.com or call (651) 571-4037.
For now, the app will only be available in downtown St. Paul. City staff are posting signs to indicate where people can use phones to pay the meter, said Joe Ellickson, a spokesman for the city's public works department.
Officials plan to quickly expand the app to meters near the Capitol and University Avenue, according to a press release from the city. They will post updates at stpaul.gov/meters.
"We are always looking for ways to better serve the residents and guests of Saint Paul. Paying for parking by phone is another way we are making getting around Saint Paul more convenient," Public Works Director Kathy Lantry said in a statement.
But the convenience can come with a small additional cost. Parkers will be charged a 15 cent transaction fee if they want to make a one-time payment on the app using a credit card. But those who use the app's prepaid feature – which requires a minimum deposit of $10 – will not be charged an additional fee.
Many other cities have added such apps, including Minneapolis, which rolled out a similar system downtown last fall.