You'll soon be able to pay for parking in Philadelphia with your smartphone now that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has inked a deal with a mobile parking payment service.
The PPA announced Thursday its board of directors had chosen Pango USA to administer the service after reviewing proposals from five companies.
Using an app, drivers will be able to pay for parking and — of most interest to drivers — get alerts before the meter runs out and add more time to the clock. The last feature will help users avoid getting costly $36 parking tickets.
The amount of time you'd be able to extend your parking stay is up in the air, but the PPA said its proposing that rates increase with each time addition beyond the parking limit.
That means, for example, if you park in a spot that has a posted 2 hour limit at a cost of $2, adding an additional 2 hours could cost you $4 extra.
Officials are hoping the extended limit price increases will help entice parking spot turnover. Philadelphia City Council is considering the extended payment options and costs.
The app is expected to roll out by the end of the summer with a pilot program in Center City. Drivers who park in the area between 4th and 20th Streets and Arch and Locust Streets will be able to use the app.
A stretch of Columbus Boulevard — between Spring Garden and Race Streets — and parking lots at the Torresdale Rail Station and 8th and Chestnut Streets will also be included in the pilot.
The pilot is expected to last six months before the app is opened to the entire city.
Under the deal, Pango will cover the cost of credit card processing, data plans for devices used by enforcement staffers and app marketing, according to the PPA. They said the terms will ensure the city and School District of Philadelphia will continue to get millions of dollars in revenue currently brought in by parking tickets.
Pango currently offers service in several cities including Scranton, Mount Vernon, New York and Alexandria, Virginia.