Borough aims to ease parking woes with app

The days of fumbling for coins to feed the meter in the Borough of Kennett Square have ended: Drivers can now pay up with their mobile phones.

A news parking app will enable drivers

A news parking app will enable drivers to extend the time on the meter from their smart phones.

An app from Wilmington-based Passport Inc. will allow smartphone and other mobile phone users to pay with a click of a button, a text, or a phone call.

“If you’re in the middle of a business meeting or lunch, you don’t have to run out to feed the meter,” Emily Wilson, a member of Passport’s marketing team, said in a press release. “We are excited to introduce this new option to Kennett Square parkers. It’s a great alternative for people who don’t carry around change.”

The existing parking meters will still accept change, according to Kennett Borough Manager Joseph C. Scalise. The only difference drivers will notice is a sticker on the meter alerting them about the app.

“We’re just adding on new technology to what’s already there,” Wilson said.

Borough Council unanimously voted in June to begin using PassportParking, an app that can be downloaded for free. Scalise said that motorists would pay a 25-cent convenience fee for the ability to use a credit card, money that would defray the borough’s $250 charge per month. He said if no one uses the service it could cost $3,000 a year, but could also be canceled if it doesn’t prove popular.

Payments accepted through the Passport Parking app include MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. There will also be a “dedicated wallet” option for payment, as well as discount coupons. The parking charge will not be credited until the end of the parking session, the release said.

West Chester Borough has been using the same app since 2015.

“We hope people who frequent Kennett Square and West Chester will be more comfortable using the app,” Scalise said in the release, adding that the borough first learned about Passport Inc. while searching for app-based parking systems.

Some of the benefits of Passport Parking, according to Scalise and Wilson, include ease of registration and parking history. To register, users enter their email or phone number; once that is done, they will have the ability to pay for and extend parking times, and also to track where and when they park on an ongoing basis, just by accessing the app on their phone or computer.

The app also offers merchants the ability to validate parking for their customers; something Wilson called a “great way to get local businesses involved.” Merchants can provide a validation code to customers that can then be used to offset their parking costs, the release said.

Passport Inc. has provided app-based mobility solutions to cities, towns, universities and other groups in more than 47 states, according to its website. For more information on the app, visit www.passportinc.com/consumers/.

 

 

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