City of Asheville launches pay-by-phone parking pilot program

Don’t have change? A new pilot program by the City of Asheville’s Parking Service Division implements new technology for a sample of on-street parking meters that will allow customers to pay by cell phone or smart phone.

Beginning Thursday, September 6, 104 meters in one section of downtown will be designated by stickers explaining how to set up an account and pay for up to two hours of parking by phone using a credit or debit card. The system gives customers another option when parking in downtown Asheville.

“We are excited to offer this service to our residents and visitors as a way to make parking in downtown Asheville more accessible and user-friendly,” said Ken Putnam, the City’s Transportation Director. “The Parking Division continually looks for ways to improve the customer’s experience.”

Meters that are part of the pay-by-phone pilot program will still accept coins and will have a time limit of two hours.

The test phase of the technology will run for three months, from September to November, and will be active on 104 parking meters along Hiawassee St., Haywood St., Battery Park and Wall St. Meters that are part of the pilot program will display yellow stickers with instructions showing how to set up an account and pay for parking. Once an account is established, customers can simply pay meters on their phone by entering a zone and meter number. Customers can also request a text message reminding them that a meter is about to expire.

Customers using the pay-by-phone parking service will be billed an additional 25-cent service fee per transaction. The fee goes to the provider of the pay-by-phone service and a message will remind customers of the fee before they activate a phone transaction.

The parking pilot program will provide Asheville City staff with the information it needs to make a recommendation about whether or not to establish pay-by-phone services throughout downtown.

For more information about the City of Asheville parking Services, click here.