WILKES-BARRE — The city is sticking with its coin-fed parking meters, but it’s requesting proposals from vendors for pay-by-phone service.
Two Request for Proposals were issued for the service and the software and hardware to operate it. Both have a deadline of 2:30 p.m Feb. 1 for responses.
City Administrator Ted Wampole said there have been problems with the service provided by the current vendor Pango. The system has been down at times and parking enforcement personnel have had to issue paper tickets in a lot of instances, said Wampole.
“We want to look at what other options are out there,” he said Friday.
Wilkes-Barre signed on with Pango in 2015, enabling people to pay for meter parking through the company’s cellphone app. It alerts patrons when the meter is running out and allows them to pay for additional time. Parking enforcement officers also are able to remotely ascertain who uses the service.
Wampole said the aim of the RFPs is to get a better deal for the city. It’s looking for a service by which:
• Patrons can electronically pay to park at the meters, in open-air lots and garages owned or operated by the city and track and manage their accounts on the vendor’s website.
• Parking enforcement personnel can track and verify payments in real time through hand-held mobile devices connected to the web.
• Fees collected will be deposited in a vendor’s dedicated account and disbursed to the city.
• The vendor is able to institute a new process to ensure citations are paid timely and a new system to increase payment compliance.
New rate starts today
The city said it has 887 metered on-street parking spaces. It has budgeted $1 million this year in meter revenue, an increase of $475,000 from 2017 due to the doubling of the hourly parking rate to $2. The new rate will goes into effect today and will be phased in at the meters by Jan. 19 or until all of them have been updated. Parking is enforced Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.