February 6, 2013
The yellow parking meter stickers are going up all over town as the City of Asheville expands pay-by-phone parking to all of its 750 meters in the downtown central business district.
The service allows drivers to pay for up to two hours of on-street parking using a credit or debit card number and their cell phone. The move enhances the accessibility of on-street short-term parking by extending it to people who are not carrying change. In September, the City of Asheville’s Parking Services Division launched a three-month test phase involving 104 parking meters, and the success of that phase has led to an expanded trial run throughout all of the City of Asheville’s meters.
“It was pretty popular right from the beginning!” said the City’s Transportation Director Ken Putnam. “One of the things we heard right off the bat was that people wanted to see the pay-by-phone feature on more spaces downtown.”
The expansion is part of a larger trial run and will last for a year. Last year’s initial test revealed a revenue increase of about three percent, Putnam said. Data from both trials will be used when making a recommendation about whether or not to make pay-by-phone a permanent part of Asheville’s parking offerings.
The yellow stickers and signs throughout the downtown central business district provide information about how to set up an account. Once an account is established, parking customers can simply pay for metered spaces on their phone by entering a zone and meter number and the amount of time needed. Customers can also request a text message alerting them that their meter is about to expire.
A fee of 25 cents will apply for each pay-by-phone transaction, which offsets the cost of the service. All parking meters will still take coins.
Click here for more information about the City of Asheville parking services.