Economic Development Newsroom

City Launches New Technology for Mobile Pay for Parking

Wednesday November 13, 2013

Parking in downtown just got easier, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today. The city has launched a partnership with PassportParking, and will be introducing new mobile pay technology on Monday, November 18 at downtown surface lots. Drivers will be able to use their cell phones to pay for parking, first at downtown surface lots and eventually, at on-street meters throughout the downtown area.

“Drivers will now have the ability to pay at their convenience upon parking and without having to visit a parking lot pay station,” Fischer said. “Cities are successful when based in innovation, and this move to higher technology will meet the demands of citizens who are on the go and who are increasingly using their smart phones to get things done.”

The mobile pay option will be in addition to the existing pay stations in lots, and gives drivers a new, quicker method to pay for parking. It’s also a benefit for businesses, who can participate in the program by offering discounts and promotions for PassportParking customers who visit their stores.

To use the mobile pay system, customers register via the free PassportParking Mobile Pay app or voice system, found on both iPhone and Android platforms. Registration instructions also are located at all parking locations and at Once securely registered, motorists can pay for parking, which includes a $.25 convenience fee, by using the mobile payment option, calling a toll free number, or texting their zone and space information.

“It is important that we keep up with consumer demands, and this is something that the public has been asking for,” said Cathy Duncan, Director, Parking Authority of River City. “This technology is the next advance of our popular SmartCard, giving our parking patrons new efficiencies in parking and payment options.”

As a way to increase parking planning that supports local business development, drivers who use PassportParking’s mobile pay technology will be able to log in using their Facebook accounts to find nearby businesses that offer validation or other discounts.

“Drivers are going to love the simplicity of our mobile payment option and the many conveniences our technology offers,” said Bob Youakim, managing partner of PassportParking. “This partnership demonstrates the city’s commitment to providing the most convenient parking experience possible for residents and visitors.”

Mobile pay technology will be available at on-street meters by January 1, 2014. At that time, the mobile app will provide motorists the option to receive text message alerts and reminders prior to the expiration of their parking session, with the ability to add additional funds at that time.

In addition to providing a more convenient payment option for customers, this program also gives PARC access to PassportParking’s fully integrated cloud-based revenue control and parking management tools. PassportParking’s enterprise suite of software solutions will help the city manage its parking resources more efficiently and cost-effectively by providing real-time access to revenue, enforcement, and rate data.

“The bottom line is that the city will be able to enjoy significant cost savings while providing a better parking experience for our citizens,” said Fischer.