Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby my5cents » Oct 23rd, 2017, 1:43 pm

How things have changed

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#209820

It used to be that street parking was intended for brief periods of parking. To encourage movement of vehicles parking meters were insralled in large cities like Vancouver.

The idea was not so much to make money, but to keep vehicles from parking for long periods. Someone is going to say, "but all uou have to do is put more money in the meter".

Not so, there was a bylaw prohibiting "re-metering", and as well from parking in the same block to avoid being overtime in one spot.

The idea, being if there is street parking available, retail customers for stores in the area would be able to park and shop.

I guess now, it's just a consideration of how much the city can earn, to heck with the merchant.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Darkre » Oct 23rd, 2017, 2:14 pm

I've never heard of the "re-metering" bylaw as you put it. I could understand something like the same block parking issue when free parking is involved but even then what if the vehicle owner legitimately left and returned to the area, only to find a spot on the same block to park? Seems like a pretty hard bylaw to enforce, the parking enforcement officer wouldn't have any idea if the vehicle left for 20 minutes and returned later for legitimate reasons. Also I've topped up the meter on several occasions in many different cities and don't recall reading that on the meter in anywhere. Maybe I got lucky?

Besides the re-metering bylaw that you've indicated this is no different then the meters that take credit cards, just another convenience for the public and another reason to not have change in your pockets for the pan handlers downtown.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby my5cents » Oct 23rd, 2017, 4:16 pm

Darkre wrote:I've never heard of the "re-metering" bylaw as you put it. I could understand something like the same block parking issue when free parking is involved but even then what if the vehicle owner legitimately left and returned to the area, only to find a spot on the same block to park? Seems like a pretty hard bylaw to enforce, the parking enforcement officer wouldn't have any idea if the vehicle left for 20 minutes and returned later for legitimate reasons. Also I've topped up the meter on several occasions in many different cities and don't recall reading that on the meter in anywhere. Maybe I got lucky?

Besides the re-metering bylaw that you've indicated this is no different then the meters that take credit cards, just another convenience for the public and another reason to not have change in your pockets for the pan handlers downtown.


Yes it exists.

From the City of Vancouver Street and Traffic Bylaw 2849 .........

    17.7 Where a block or a portion of a block is subject to a parking regulation with a time limit, an owner, registered owner, lessee or operator of a vehicle must not cause, allow or permit that vehicle to move from one location to another in the same block in an attempt to avoid the time limit.

From the City of Vancouver Parking Meter Bylaw 2952 ........

    (3) A person who parks a vehicle in a metered space must comply with the following time limits and parking meter rates:
    (a) despite subsection (2), a person must not leave a vehicle continuously in a metered space for longer than the time limit for use of that metered space that is indicated on the meter head;
(the subsection (2) it refers to is just the paying for the parking and it showing on the meter)

I'm sure most large cities have similar parking bylaws.

Well in the City of Vancouver if you left the area and came back in 20 minutes and found a parking spot in the same block, you'd likely be entered in Ripley's Believe it or Not, or the Guinness Book of Records.

What caught my attention was in the article in Castanet stated:
    "You’ll be notified in advance when your time is running low on funds and you can refill it remotely – no more running to your car! This technology will be extremely convenient for our downtown businesses and their customers,” says Lynn Allin, Executive Director of the Downtown Penticton Association."

Big city vs small town, I guess.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Darkre » Oct 23rd, 2017, 5:24 pm

Thanks 5cents, appreciate the info. I am curious if that is a Vancouver / Major city type bylaw or if they are used elsewhere in smaller cities. I wouldn't be surprised if Vancouver spends more on their Bylaws/ Parking division then Penticton spends on the RCMP.

I looked in to the app a little more and it's already being used in a few major cities across Canada, including Toronto, Victoria and Surrey. I'd be curious to see what data the cities have access to. A system that warns you when your time is about to expire and lets you plug the meter from anywhere does lend itself to certain abuses. On the other hand if it tells Bylaws that a meter is about to expire it could make enforcement more efficient. That's a bit of a jerk move but I wouldn't be surprised if the system could also warn the parking officers of impending violations.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Bunnyhop » Oct 23rd, 2017, 6:01 pm

From what I found, this app is more US based than say, PaybyPhone that is used in Kelowna, Calgary, Vancouver, Kamloops, Edmonton, etc. Silly to not be using the same system as the majority of nearby cities where many of our visitors come from. If the CoP is looking for convenience, they are dropping the ball.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby my5cents » Oct 24th, 2017, 10:13 am

Darkre wrote:Thanks 5cents, appreciate the info. I am curious if that is a Vancouver / Major city type bylaw or if they are used elsewhere in smaller cities. I wouldn't be surprised if Vancouver spends more on their Bylaws/ Parking division then Penticton spends on the RCMP.

I looked in to the app a little more and it's already being used in a few major cities across Canada, including Toronto, Victoria and Surrey. I'd be curious to see what data the cities have access to. A system that warns you when your time is about to expire and lets you plug the meter from anywhere does lend itself to certain abuses. On the other hand if it tells Bylaws that a meter is about to expire it could make enforcement more efficient. That's a bit of a jerk move but I wouldn't be surprised if the system could also warn the parking officers of impending violations.


I don't doubt you are 100% correct, that the bylaw enforcement people in Vancouver very likely have as many employees as the RCMP in Kelowna.

As for the Vancouver bylaws being the same as other large cities, I expect they do, but haven't researched that.

I wouldn't doubt these application can be programed to just purchase the one fee without allowing renewals, but again I don't know the inner workings.

As for identifying violators, in the 80's when the police (yes the VPD had a parking squad) gave up parking enforcement in favor of civilians parking enforcement, the city expanded the number of (old term) "meter maids" which drastically increased the chance of getting a parking ticket.

With that increased likelihood of tickets, the percentage of compliance to feed meters and not park overtime increased phenomenally, making parking revenue a budget item.

I think at one time they even had some vehicles equipped with license plate readers that could just drive down streets and scan license plates, they would then return an hour or whatever later (depending on the time limit in the zone) and drive the street again. Any plate that was still there, got a ticket.

Gone are the days when the police parking squad, in Cushman 3 wheeled vehicles, marked tires with a chalk stick. The game then was to go out to your car and wipe the chalk off. :biggrin:
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby twobits » Oct 24th, 2017, 7:05 pm

It's all moot IMO. The cost of meters that will accept this tech will far exceed the additional revenues they will generate from people that don't have a quarter or loonie in their pocket. This is tech that needs a critical mass of public acceptance and use to be worthwhile and that ain't in Penticton or any other 35k population town. Waste of time and money for at least another decade.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Bunnyhop » Oct 25th, 2017, 6:13 am

twobits wrote:It's all moot IMO. The cost of meters that will accept this tech will far exceed the additional revenues they will generate from people that don't have a quarter or loonie in their pocket. This is tech that needs a critical mass of public acceptance and use to be worthwhile and that ain't in Penticton or any other 35k population town. Waste of time and money for at least another decade.


The meters don't change, they just get numbered. All the technology is in the app.

Download the app to your smartphone. Register your vehicle and select your payment option. I use Apple Pay because it is more secure. Enter the parking location and the meter number, make your payment. Get a notification when your meter is about to run out, add money to the meter if needed, all from your smartphone. Easy peasy.

Like I said before, my only complaint is that they should be using the PaybyPhone app, its already being used at private parking locations in Penticton, and all the major cities in western Canada. If the CoP is looking for convenience, they need to look again.

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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Darkre » Oct 25th, 2017, 8:23 am

The City put out a RFP for parking metering upgrades a while back. It's likely that this group offered the best deal so the city is trying them out.

For something like this it wouldn't be unusual for the provider and the city to enter in to a revenue sharing agreement to pay for any upgrades so that there are no up front costs to the city.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby southy » Oct 25th, 2017, 8:54 am

Darkre wrote:The City put out a RFP for parking metering upgrades a while back. It's likely that this group offered the best deal so the city is trying them out.

For something like this it wouldn't be unusual for the provider and the city to enter in to a revenue sharing agreement to pay for any upgrades so that there are no up front costs to the city.


And you know this how? Or is this simply an assumption on your part. From what I've read about Passport the main focus is on improved revenue generation through ticketing. You might want to call it user convenience, but the bottomline is how much more revenue the city can create with this app. Makes me warm and fuzzy all over knowing our friends in the big white building on Main have our best interests at heart. Not!!

Here is link to Passport:
https://passportinc.com/citationmanagement/
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby seewood » Oct 25th, 2017, 9:24 am

The original purpose of the parking meters was , as mentioned, to keep the parking spots revolving for customers to park while at merchants stores.
However, many merchants and agents still parked on the street (2 hour) and at meters . A by-law traffic person will mark the time they start walking down a block and chalk the tires of cars. 2 1/2 hours later they return and offending vehicle is still there, they get ding'd.
With meters if it is expired, ding'd... Those cars were chalked as well. Many merchants and agents again as mentioned would scurry out of the office when the 2 hours was up on the meter and if not chalked would put more money in but if chalked, move the vehicle to another location. Stupid parking games.
This app might work for customers, but merchants, agents and customers will still have the tires chalked in all likelihood and an excess of 2 hours could see a piece of paper on the windshield.

Saying this though, the city here or Vancouver make more money from fines than it costs to implement them. $$$$
Last edited by seewood on Oct 25th, 2017, 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Darkre » Oct 25th, 2017, 9:30 am

I can't find it but the initial RFP was done when the city was planning on installing paid parking along the okanagan beach corridor and at skaha. I saw a quick mention of something somewhere earlier in the year but can't find it either and don't remember if it was an RFP or just a discussion regarding metering options in general.

The revenue that Penticton received from paid parking in the city pays for the entire Bylaw Enforcement division by itself. Without this revenue your taxes would be higher. Before throwing shade at city hall consider the consequences. Free parking equals higher taxes. I'm a big advocate of user pay instead of general taxpayer pay. I regularly attend downtown areas and am aware of where free parking is available and am willing to walk a few blocks to save a couple bucks as it adds up over the course of a month. I also never have any cash on me to plug a meter which makes it difficult to park at metered parking. I thought the credit card payment meters were a great feature to add and have used them on occasion. This is another nice option to have for those that don't carry cash. If it increases revenue then great, lower taxes for me.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby Bunnyhop » Oct 25th, 2017, 11:27 am

Its not mentioned in the Castanet article, but copied from the Western News article:

"This is also one of the city’s more cost-effective projects. Other than adding number decals, there are no changes to the parking meters: users simply enter the parking spot number and their licence plate into the app.

“We have a backend software that we log in and check to see if there is a payment,” said Siebert. “It’s quite an easy system to use, and it didn’t require too much change to our existing technology."

So it doesn't sound like a meter upgrade is necessary.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby XT225 » Oct 25th, 2017, 12:40 pm

This whole parking meter situation is a joke. One only has to look at what has happened in Vernon with theirs. Thousands of dollars in vandalism/theft (oh, I can hear it now....."thats why we need cashless/credit card/smart phone meters"; give me a break). Not in this city; too many seniors. Also putting them in the 100 block of Martin is an insult to anyone with a brain. Why pay when you can walk across the street on Lakeshore and park all day for free? (I am NOT promoting that practice) Presently you can see that many cars are parked there all day and the owners are not on the beach; they're at work, downtown. Those that would promote pay parking on Lakeshore better give their heads a shake as well; its not gonna happen; too close to the next Election. These monkeys running the city (council) now are going to start watching what they do and say very carefully in the next year; they know that they are all on very thin ice.

ETA: the answer to the beach parking is to make it 3 hrs or so; no more. Would stop most people from abusing it.
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Re: Pay Parking by Smart Phone

Postby alanjh595 » Oct 25th, 2017, 12:43 pm

They should expand the program so that you can pay parking/traffic tickets via smart phone.
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