HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The city of Huntsville is making things a little easier for drivers in downtown. New payments options will be available for parking.
On Thursday night the City Council approved a contract with i3 Verticals to give drivers the option to pay by smartphone or credit card at about 400 parking spaces in the city.
“What’s important to people today is convenience. As downtown grows, as we try to attract more people downtown, they like the convenience of having options for their parking. So this gives us an option of paying with cash - the coins - or paying with the app using your credit card," said Tommy Brown, director of parking and public transit for the city.
Brown says this project has been a year in the making. The Parking and Public Transit department spent the last year reviewing the technology, the new meters, and figuring out how to make the credit card processing work. Brown said he hopes this will help the downtown area continue to grow, “Having this new technology in place, making it easier to park, making it easier to find a parking place, making it easier to pay for a parking place, is just going to make coming to downtown more convenient than it’s been in the past.”
The contract gives drivers the ability to use the Passport App. Users will establish a minimum $5 balance with their credit card, enter their license plate number and pay for parking.
You will also be reminded when time is running out on your meter, and extend your time through the app.
Pay stations will also be installed at Big Spring Park and Cotton Row. All you would have to do is put in your tag number, pay by coins, card, or cash, and then place the ticket on your dash. The goal is to eventually have pay stations throughout all of downtown.
Business workers in downtown are excited about this new project. “A lot of the time people will come in and the first thing they will ask me is 'Do they check the meters? Cause I don’t have any change. So I usually keep some in my desk drawer for people when they need it," said Teresa Dougherty with Randy Roper Interior.
Equipment for the new parking system has already been ordered. Brown is hoping to get the new system up and running by the new year.