The City of Alexandria will soon offer customers the ability to pay for metered parking spaces by phone or with a smartphone app. The service, which will begin the week of Dec. 9, will be an alternative to the current pay station kiosks. Alexandria will be the first locality in Virginia to offer pay-by-phone for on-street parking.
“We are delighted to provide this convenient service to our residents, visitors, and businesses,” said Mayor William D. Euille. “We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get around Alexandria.”
The service, which will be operated by Pango USA, will be available via the Pango smartphone app, or by calling toll-free 855.547.2646. The app is available for iPhone and iPad, Android, and BlackBerry 10.
Customers register their credit card and license plate information to create an account. Each time a customer parks, the app or phone number is used to start parking by entering the zone number found on signs along each metered block. Because parking enforcement officers will use their handheld devices to see a list of license plate numbers with active parking payments, it is not necessary for a customer to visit a pay station or display a paper receipt if the pay-by-phone service is used.
When the customer returns to the vehicle, the app or phone number may be used to end the parking session. Unlike current options, this allows the customer to pay for only the time actually used to park. If the customer does not end the session, it will end automatically when the maximum time permitted for that space is reached.
Pay-by-phone users will pay the normal metered parking fee, plus a convenience fee of 24 cents per session if funds are drawn from a prepaid Pango account, or 29 cents per session for all others. As part of the City’s launch, Pango USA will provide two hours of free parking to the first 5,000 users, and will waive the convenience fee for all users through March 1, 2014.
The system will also let restaurants, shops, and other businesses provide complimentary parking promotions to their customers via prepaid codes. The smartphone app will also include a map of City-operated and privately operated parking garages.
The City selected Pango USA to operate the system, after a competitive bidding process. There is no cost to the City to establish or maintain this service. Pango USA will pay for all necessary software, signage, and marketing materials. Today, Pango operates in 47 cities worldwide, serving more than 1 million active accounts.