Houston's 7,000 metered parking spaces are now connected to a phone application that customers can either download or dial. Mayor Annise Parker made the announcement near Discovery Green downtown. She says the Bayou City is now the largest area in the southwest with the new technology.
"Pay-by-phone service offers convenience. It offers the opportunity to choose a greener technology, because it's a paperless technology, and by having the data saved to your smartphone, you still have a receipt for the transaction that you're gonna undertake. The Municipal Courts have already been trained, in case someone gets a citation by mistake or if you overstay your welcome, through your smartphone provider."
The service is beng made available through the city's partnership between Parkmobile USA and T2 Systems, as marketing manager Tracy Maymon explains:
"We serve hundreds of cities, colleges and universities, airports and hospitals, providing them with parking management services. We are continually looking for ways to help the city implement new services, that will make parking and paying for parking easier and more efficient for its constituents."
The system will alert drivers 15 minutes before their paid parking is due to expire, and if allowed, offer the option of extending the time.
Each parking transaction costs the customer 35 cents, in addition to the amount charged for parking. That fee goes to Parkmobile, the vendor.