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City to roll out cashless parking on June 11

Council approves tender to change Harbour Drive meters

A new cashless parking system will be launched on Harbour Drive on June 11 that council hopes will keep drivers happy and vandals at bay.

At Monday’s council meeting, the city awarded a tender to British Columbia-based PayByPhone to develop the system.

Currently, there are 136 parking meters on Harbour Drive, though transportation lead Coun. Debbie Hanlon admits the vast majority of them have been targeted by vandals.

The rollout of the cashless system is an experiment by the city, with hopes to transfer much of the city’s parking meters to cashless models in the coming years.

Because the system is cashless, Hanlon says, the vandalism issue should be done away with once the new system comes online.

“Well, there’s no cash there. They won’t be able to take the cash, so there won’t be cash there,” said Hanlon.

“We’re just going through the particulars right now, as we just awarded the tender. I’m used to the system. I’ve used it before. We’ll have to see if you can still use credit with the system.”

The new system will be based off a mobile app for smartphones that will allow drivers to register their car and pay via their phone, as well as receive notifications for when their parking is about to expire.

About 72 per cent of parking in the city is paid for with coins, according to a study released by the city earlier this year. A total transition to cashless parking in the city is estimated by that report to cost about $403,000.

While that’s good news for those with the latest technologies, Hanlon says, other arrangements have to be made for those unable to use the app.

“You can actually call into the city. There’ll be a number you can call and provide your credit card information. We’re also looking at bringing in the parking cards as well,” said Hanlon.

The city will review how the project is working next year and decide the next steps for the new parking system.

david.maher@thetelegram.com

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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