(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
The City of Spokane has hired an interim vendor to continue pay-by-phone parking meter service while public solicitation is completed for a vendor. The interim vendor was hired after the previous pay-by-phone app, Quick Pay, was discontinued because the company that oversees the Quick Pay app wasn't paying up in revenue, which in turn was a problem for the city. The service had not paid the city nearly $80,000 in promised revenue.
Weather permitting, stickers will be applied to meters in a test area along Main Avenue, between Lincoln and Wall Street beginning on Tuesday, March 28. Users of the test area pay-by-phone app can provide feedback to 311 regarding any issues that crop up. Stickers will be put on the remaining meters citywide starting on Monday, April 3, pending a successful test of the new app.
The new pay-by-phone app is called Passport and is used in other cities including Boston, Detroit, and Toronto. The app will provide drivers with quicker option for parking and help avoid parking tickets. It also has a wallet function.
Parking Services Director Heather Trautman explained how that wallet function works. “Customers can load funds into a digital wallet which can be used to pay meter fees,” she said. “The wallet provides customers the ability to add and store prepaid funds in their account. When a person pays using the digital wallet, the transaction is simply deducted from the prepaid account rather than being charged to a credit or debit card in small increments.”
Other features include:
- Pay for parking with a debit/credit card
- Fund a wallet that will decrease individual charges to credit cards
- Monitor their session
- Extend time remotely (up to the maximum allotted time)
- View all parking history
- Receive email receipts