Thanks to technology, you will never again sit in the exam room of a Washington Road doctor’s office, wearing a patient gown, when it occurs to you that your parking meter is about to run out. If all goes as expected, later this month Mt. Lebanon will have activated its mobile parking app. The app, called Passport, will allow drivers to use their smartphones to pay for parking at any municipal on-street or off-street metered parking space, in addition to the Academy Lot pay and display meters.
Passport already is in place all over the country, in such cities as Las Vegas, Breckenridge, Colorado and throughout the greater Boston area.
Here’s how it works: You will download the Passport app, from either the App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android phones. It’s also available for download at www.ppprk.com. The first time you use it, you’ll enter your credit card info and your license plate number, and you’ll enter a verification code sent to your email. At that first session, you’ll set up a PIN for the app. Then, each time you park, you’ll simply open the app, enter your PIN, enter the number of the meter at which you have parked, select the amount of time you’ll be there, sign it with your finger and that’s it. The app will charge a 25 cents convenience fee once per parking session.
The app will also remind you if you’re nearing the end of your paid parking session so you can elect to add time remotely, using your phone. The app will be programmed with all the parking rates and will be preset with the parking limits so you will not be able to stay longer than the max time permitted at each meter.
The app is flexible. You can manage multiple vehicles, and you can change the notifications that tell you if you’re running out of time. You also can access your receipt.
Also, if you get a parking ticket, you’ll be able to pay—or appeal—fines through the app. Passport software will be integrated with the municipality’s enforcement software. Parking enforcement officers will have information on who has paid in real-time through the new Enforcement Application by using a handheld device. Parking tickets will be digitally printed from a Bluetooth printer. A new feature will be the officer’s ability to upload a picture of the vehicle in violation that will be stored and printed with the ticket information. This will make it easier for drivers to confirm it was their vehicle in the space at the time of violation.
Appealing tickets through the app can avoid a trip to the district magistrate’s office. For example, to appeal a ticket because of a malfunctioning meter, the driver can simply upload a picture of the meter.
The changes are part of the finance department’s five-year project of upgrading parking facilities and services, including about $180,000 in updates to the two municipal parking garages, and $45,000 in software.