The new ParkDetroit system is made easier with the download of the ParkDetroit smartphone app.
(TNS) -- Detroit officials unveiled a new, $3.5-million system of parking kiosks rolling out across the city that promises to make it easier to pay to park and reduce the risk of getting a parking ticket.
The city is installing 500 ParkDetroit kiosks across the city over the next two weeks. They were first tested on Livernois along the Avenue of Fashion on the city’s northwest side, the city’s chief operating officer, Gary Brown, said at a news conference today.
There’s a major difference in how they work, compared with previous electronic meters. Motorists, using keypads on the kiosks, input their vehicle’s license plate number, and the time they pay for stays with the vehicle, no matter the spot it is in within one of three zones of the city. That compares with old-fashioned coin meters tied to one specific parking spot and, more recently, electronic kiosks that covered only certain parking spaces nearby, with motorists having to remember the number of their parking space and enter it into the parking meter.
Brown said the new ParkDetroit system is made easier with the download of the ParkDetroit smartphone app, available in the Apple iTunes App Store and through Google Play for Android phones.
The app allows users to input credit card data so it can charge parking fees by phone, no longer requiring coins to pay. That also allows users to add time on meters, within posted time limits. The app also sends out text alerts 10 minutes before a user’s time expires.
“We’re finally bringing it into the 21st century,” Brown said at the news conference along Livernois, flanked by parking enforcement staff and local business owners.
Brown said the new kiosks will be installed in downtown, Midtown, Corktown and several neighborhoods in southwest Detroit along Michigan Avenue and Vernor. They’ll also be added in the Eastern Market area after intensive road construction there is wrapped up.
As proposed, parking would be divided into three zones: $1 an hour in neighborhoods, $1.50 an hour in Midtown and the Eastern Market, and $2 an hour downtown. Since the time that a driver buys is tied to his or her vehicle’s license plate, that driver can park at any spot within one of the zones, and even move to other spots within the zone.
The City Council late this afternoon approved the new parking rates 9-0.
Brown said that if the changes help raise revenue from parking, he hopes to be able to reduce parking ticket fines that were raised to $45 under former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Brown said that could include allowing violators to pay $10 if they pay the ticket within 10 days.
Brown urged Detroiters and suburbanites who work in or visit the city to download the app, “because we suspect it will become a major part of your daily lives moving throughout the city.”
©2015 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.