Want to park in downtown Pittston?
There’s an app for that.
The city is readying to unveil Pango, short for ‘pay and go,’ which will allow motorists to feed meters via smartphones. Coins will still work at the meters and credit/debit cards and coins will still work at the parking kiosks.
Benefits include no longer having to be concerned about change for the meter and no worries of being issued a costly parking ticket.
The City of Scranton has been using Pango since July and Wilkes-Barre is considering it, said Mike Lombardo, a member of the City’s Redevelopment Authority, which owns the city lots.
“It’s another way to make parking easier and more accessible for the motorist,” Lombardo said.
City Administrator Joe Moskovitz said there will be a representative from the company available at the first Second Friday Art Walk next Friday.
It works using GPS technology, Lombardo said.
You download the app and load your credit card and vehicle information into it. When you pull into a spot, you open the app and press the pay for parking button. The app keeps a running toll in five minute intervals for a pro-rated bill.
“You really get what you paid for,” Lombardo said. “If you stay for 35 minutes, you’ll be charged for 35 minutes, not the full hour.”
The city does not limit the amount of time a person can park, but the meters in the downtown only allow you to plug the meter for two hours. This app will allow a motorist to park longer than that without having to return to the car to refill the meter.
Parking currently costs 50 cents an hour, but the parking authority may consider raising it to $1 an hour in the future. Moskovitz said $1 an hour is “far more typical of towns our size.”
The company gets 15 cents out of the 50 cents and hour currently charged.
The city parking attendant will be equipped with an iPad that will tell which cars are using the Pango system.
Lombardo and Moskovitz said the city must embrace new technology or be left behind.
“We think the more opportunities like this we create downtown, the better off we are,” Lombardo said. “It may not be for everyone now, but we’re looking toward the future.”
“A lot of people will say it won’t work in Pittston,” Moskovitz said. “It may not work for some, but more and more the younger generation is doing everything on smartphones. This will emerge as a leading type of convenience service. It will only grow.”
The city also plans to install large parking signs to make people aware the city lots are available. The signs will match the city’s streetscape, Lombardo said.
The free app is available on iTunes, Android Market and BlackBerry App World.