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St. Pete Installs Pay-By-Phone Parking Meters

Tampa drivers set aside their quarters last month in favor of electronic meters, and now St. Pete drivers can enjoy easier and more efficient downtown parking.

Pay-by-phone meters have been installed along downtown St. Petersburg streets and avenues, allowing drivers to pay with plastic through their phones instead of digging around for quarters.

"The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for those without quarters to enjoy downtown," says Joe Kubicki, director of the city's Parking and Transportation division. "It's been an important part of our program for a while now and we're happy to have implemented it this week, on Oct. 27, 2010. It makes it more convenient for people to be downtown."

After receiving a number of responses to its official request for proposals, the city elected to contract Parkmobile to facilitate its transition from traditional to pay-by-phone meters. ParkMobile's Director of Marketing Sara Engle shares Kubicki's enthusiasm for the ease and efficiency the technology provides.

"ParkMobile is a very forward-thinking company," says Engle. We're constantly updating parking technology. We offer mobile apps for smart phones, but there are several ways you can use our technology: online on your personal page, or by dialing into our Miami call center or by using an app."

Engle says ParkMobile provides PCI Level 1 compliance to protect users from credit card fraud and identity theft. "That's a critical part of our technology," she says.

Kubicki says that after traveling to Fort Lauderdale to investigate their pay-by-phone program, the city decided to implement its own. And it was cheaper than the alternative requested by St. Pete residents.

"We had a lot of requests for change machines," explains Kubicki. "But those machines turned out to be more expensive than pay-by-phone. And pay-by-phone takes less than a minute to do."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Joe Kubicki, City of St. Petersburg; Sara Engle, ParkMobile
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