I noticed these signs on Westminster Street this afternoon allowing people to pay for parking by phone. I had heard this was coming, but was not aware it was here yet.
There’s no information on the Park Downtown Providence site yet. If I find out more I’ll update this post. If anyone tries it out, let us know how it goes.
Update: The City issued the following Press Release about this pilot program:
City of Providence Launches Pay-By-Phone Parking
Friday, January 20, 2012
Pilot program at 35 metered spaces promotes convenient, affordable parking downtown.
As part of its efforts to promote convenient and affordable parking in the downtown business district, the City of Providence has launched a pilot program that enables residents and visitors to use their mobile phone to pay for parking.
The new pilot program is being offered on Westminster Street in downtown Providence, at about 35 metered spaces with easily identifiable silver domes and green stickers. The meters also accept coins and credit cards.
“Providence is a vibrant city with fantastic restaurants, shops and arts-and-culture venues. We are taking steps to make parking easier for anyone who drives into downtown Providence to explore all that our city has to offer,” said Mayor Angel Taveras.
It’s easy to use the new pay-by-phone parking meter system. Simply register for free at parkmobile.com. After setting up the account, customers can immediately start using the system to pay for parking with their registered mobile phone by using a mobile app, the Internet, or by calling toll free, 1-877-727-5717.
A 35-cent user transaction fee will be assessed for each pay-by-phone meter payment.
Once logged on to the pay-by-phone system, customers will be prompted to enter the 3-digit zone number and 2-or-3 digit space number located on an easy-to-find green sticker on the outside of the meter facing the street. After entering the numbers, customers will need to wait about 10 seconds for confirmation.
Pay-by-phone users have 24/7 access to their online account; they can print reports and easily track their parking expenses. They can also select the option to receive text message alerts and reminders.
The pay-by-phone parking initiative is the most recent of several downtown parking improvements, including the installation of signs directing drivers to parking lots, the replacement of on-street meters, and the identification of additional low-cost on-street parking spaces.
In October, 2011, the City and the Providence Downtown Improvement District (DID) announced Park Downtown Providence, a program that promotes convenient and affordable parking in the downtown district.
The Park Downtown Providence website, parkdowntownprovidence.com, contains information about parking rates and locations downtown, and an interactive parking map that enables people to select destinations and find parking nearby, or choose important criteria such as ‘credit cards’ or ‘monthly parking.’ It also highlights parking specials.