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DDOT Launches Pay By Phone Parking Meter Pilot

by Prince Of Petworth April 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm 9 Comments

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Well this is wild. From a DDOT press release:

There’s a new way to pay for parking in the District, and all you need is a mobile phone. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today launched a Pay by Phone pilot program that will eliminate the need to carry change for the meters or run back to your car to add more time. This cashless payment option will be offered at 700 parking spaces in three areas: Dupont Circle, Union Station, and downtown on K Street, I Street, and New York Avenue, NW.

“This service will greatly improve the parking experience for many of our residents, because it’s so simple to use,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein. “No one likes to carry a lot of change, but almost everyone has a cell phone, and all it takes is one call to pay for a meter.”

DDOT will begin operating the service on April 12, but motorists can sign up today at paybyphone.com or by calling 1-888-510-PARK (7275). Drivers will need to provide their mobile phone number, license plate and credit card number.

Once they are signed up with a free pay by phone account, users just follow these simple steps to make a payment:

1. Call the toll free number from their mobile phone
2. Enter the location number that is posted on the meter or nearby signs
3. Enter the parking time desired.

The appropriate total will be charged to their credit card. A history of transactions is viewable any time the user logs into their account.

When paying by phone, motorists may also select the option to receive a text message reminder minutes before their time expires and can also call back to add additional parking time remotely from any phone, provided they won’t exceed the parking time limit. That feature greatly reduces the chance of a parking violation.

“Pay by phone service is an important part of our commitment – spelled out in our 2-year Action Agenda – to find innovative solutions to update our outdated inventory of parking meters,” said Director Klein. “We are going to take advantage of the most cutting-edge technology to improve the parking experience city-wide.”

DDOT has already installed multi-space meters throughout commercial corridors in the District replacing many old and non-functioning single space meters. Also, the department is currently testing solar-powered single space meters that take credit cards as well as coins.

The District’s pay by phone pilot service will be provided by Verrus Mobile Technologies, Inc.

“We’re excited to be launching Pay by Phone in the DC area,” said Verrus Co-Founder, David Spittel. “Our service takes the pain and hassle out of everyday parking, and once registered, motorists can use their Verrus account in the 100-plus cities we service as well.”

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