Mobile parking app could soon be the future for downtown Florence

The app would give people the option to pay for parking via the app or use the meters
Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 3:56 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Downtown Florence is seeking to keep up with the ever-changing digital world by proposing a new mobile parking app.

According to WAFF’s newspaper partner, The Times Daily, Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler pitched the idea of saying goodbye to the traditional method of payment when parking a vehicle for the more accessible mobile app.

The proposal will go before the city council on Tuesday to be voted on for a chance at downtown Florence to have the app, ParkMobile. This app would allow people the option to pay for parking without having to get out of their vehicles and fish around pocket change for the meter.

“This moves us into the 21st century,” Tyler said. “This app is for people like me who don’t have loose change in their pockets or just [lying] around inside their vehicle.”

Apps to pay for parking is not a new endeavor within Alabama. Just in Birmingham alone, Tyler said there were 400,000 transactions using ParkMobile in 2022. Other cities such as Montgomery, Mobile, and Auburn are also utilizing the app without any issues.

“This app is especially popular in college towns,” he said. “The app recorded 220,000 transactions last year on the University of Alabama’s campus in Tuscaloosa. And I know other college towns like Auburn and Oxford, Mississippi, for example, use the app.”

Tyler said one of the advantages of having the app for downtown Florence would be that it doesn’t cost the city anything to maintain.

For those wondering how parking will be enforced with the app, Tyler said it would all be done via the person’s phone. The parking enforcement officer would enter the vehicle’s tag number to check on the payment status of the vehicle. If a ticket must be issued, a paper ticket would still be put on the vehicle.

“I don’t know if it will be easier to police, but it will transition us from hand-written paper tickets to electronic tickets,” Tyler added. “It takes us out of 1970s technology and puts us in a digital world.”

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