Birmingham, Ala., May Embrace New Street Parking App

The Birmingham city council transportation committee has voted to approve a contract with ParkMobile to add pay by app parking payment options to Birmingham parking meters throughout the city.

by Anna Beahm, Alabama Media Group / February 19, 2020
A parking pay station outside of Portland City Hall marked with a Parking Kitty zone decal. TNS

(TNS) — The days of digging through your car seats for a spare quarter or risking a parking ticket from the Birmingham Parking Authority could be over soon.

Today, the Birmingham city council transportation committee voted to approve a contract with ParkMobile to add pay by app parking payment options to Birmingham parking meters. The Birmingham City Council must vote to approve the contract before it becomes reality.

If approved by the city council, visitors will soon be able to pay for street parking with the free ParkMobile app. Users can add their debit or credit card information to the app as a payment method for parking.

Users will follow the instructions on the parking meter sticker, enter their tag number then submit payment to begin parking in the space.

The parking rate of $1/hour will not change, however, users must pay a $0.45 convenience fee to pay by app.

Paying with coins will still be an option. Adding the ParkMobile payment option will not change the parking meter system except for adding a sticker and other signage instructing visitors how to pay with the app.

Officials say the city won’t have to pay for ParkMobile service, since the transaction fee and credit card processing fee is paid by the customer. ParkMobile will also pay for the signage and stickers for each meter.

The city will have to amend its parking ordinance to allow for coinless payments and to more broadly define “parking meter” in anticipation of new technology for on-street parking. The transportation committee also approved two items to address those needed changes in the ordinance to allow for electronic payment and to “clean up” some of the language in the parking ordinance.

Adding the electronic payment will likely increase the city’s parking revenue, said Lakey Boyd, deputy director for strategy and innovation for the city transportation department.

From July 2017 to June 2018, the city of Birmingham collected more than $753,000 in revenue from parking meters, according to revenue numbers provided by the city.

Boyd said adding electronic payment will essentially provide “no reason” to not comply since having coins is no longer required to pay for parking.

What questions do you have about pay by app parking in Birmingham? Submit your questions through the form below or through this link.

©2020 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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