Motorists spotting smarter parking

By Paul Hemsley

Melbourne motorists parking in Carlton will be able to use a ‘Pay-By-Phone’ technology that allows users to call a number or download a smart phone app to start and end a parking session.

Mayor Robert Doyle said the service makes motorists’ lives easier by giving them the option to pay for parking on their mobile phone.

“People will also receive a 15 minute SMS reminder before their parking limit expires, which we hope will result in fewer people overstaying the time limit and a greater turnover rate in parking,” Mr Doyle said.

Taking place in Swanston Street, Cemetery Road East, Princess Street, Nicholson Street and Victoria Street, the trial area encompasses 1253 individual parking bays.

Motorists will be able to either call a number or use the app, where they will be prompted to enter a zone number displayed on signs and stickers while confirming their licence plate number.

Parking officers will still be on duty to scan licence plate numbers on parked vehicles with a handheld device and immediately identify if a session is active or not, without having to leave a ticket.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said the once off costs for the introduction of the technology are $5.48 million, which will be spent in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 financial year budgets.

The spokesperson said there is no further breakdown due to commercial in confidence.

Outsourced services were tendered for Parkmobile, the company that developed the Pay-By-Phone system and the app, to install the technology.

According to the spokesperson, the City has not needed to hire new staff to manage and maintain the Pay-By-Phone technology; instead it will be handled through Parkmobile.

At the end of 12 months, the trial will be judged by how many people take up the technology and from motorist feedback, according to the spokesperson.

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