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THE CASE FOR EXCLUSLVE PAY-BY-CELL

many of these same people are also not car owners and therefore do not need a parking space; also, in larger cities, car ownership ratios are lower. ■  An even smaller percentage of this demographic are patronizing commercial business districts that require payment for parking. ■  If payment by cell phone is not possible, visitors can find plenty of available parking off street, and typically at a lower cost, or they can perhaps buy a gift card at a local drug store that would allow them to pay for parking by card. ■  Of those 49 years of age or younger, 92-99 percent1 own ­smartphones—a large percentage of the 8 percent who do not own smartphones are not likely to do business in an urbanized commercial district and park on street or they are not likely to own a car. ■  If you don’t have a smartphone, how likely is it that you are going to be someone who patronizes a business in an urbanized commercial district and must park on street? ■  Pay by phone has been around for two decades and is well established. The three primary U.S. pay-by-cell phone providers of ParkMobile, Passport, and PayByPhone reported that they have installations in an estimated 1,000 U.S. cities. ■  City administrators and elected officials owe it to tax-paying constituents to exercise financial prudence and not unreasonably spend unnecessarily to benefit a very small minority, especially when other options exist. Pay-by-cell phone has been proven to be effective and the arguments for parking meters and against exclusive pay-by-cell phone are dwindling. This discussion explains why and how this shift is occurring.

marked on the street, meter, sign or space. Then the motorist can either call the pay-by-cell phone service provider (via a tollfree number) or use their mobile application. The motorist must identify their parking zone or parking space number and communicate this information to the pay-bycell phone provider via phone operator or mobile application. When calling the pay-by-cell phone operator, the motorist will be guided through the registration process to include communicating vehicle and credit card information. Once completed, the motorist’s mobile phone number will then be associated with the account for future parking sessions. Prior to activating the parking session, an opportunity to confirm the duration of stay, applicable charges, and correct vehicle license plate information will ensue before the motorist completes the transaction. Mobile text reminders may be programmed to notify the motorist when their parking session is about to expire. In the event a motorist needs more parking time, an option to extend the parking session may be executed with parking systems that support this option. Extended parking sessions may be initiated using the prevailing rate structure.

Prevalence of On-Street Parking Pay-by-cell Phone Fifty U.S. state capital cities were surveyed to identify the presence of on-street parking payment by cellular phone. This sample data set represents a wide variety of U.S. cities including some large cities with large footprints and dense vertical downtown urban environments such as Atlanta, Denver, Nashville,

What Is Pay-by-cell Phone and How Does It Work? Mobile payments have been around for two decades and are a proven and widespread payment method. In 2000, a patent for mobile payment technology was granted in the U.S.,2 enabling a motorist to pay for parking charges using a mobile network provider and mobile payment application. Most pay-by-cell phone solutions require pre-registration, including the need to provide either a credit card for parking charges or the use of a credit card to pre-load a prepaid account. Typical information required upon registration includes data such as the mobile phone number(s) that the motorist wishes to use to initiate the parking session, license plate information of the vehicle(s) that the motorist wishes to utilize and credit card information. To activate a parking session, the motorist must first arrive at a designated pay-by-cell phone parking area. For the service to be available, the operator of the parking space, whether a city or a private owner, must have contracted with the pay-by-cell phone service provider. If the service is available it will be clearly 32 PARKING & MOBILITY / MAY 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG

SHUTTERSTOCK/ EHRACH

Profile for International Parking & Mobility Institute

Parking & Mobility, May 2021  

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