No coins needed for new park­ing me­ters

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­port

Driv­ers can now use their mo­bile phones to pay for park­ing in Kennett Square.

A new app from Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware-based Pass­port Inc. will al­low smart­phone and other mo­bile phone users to pay with a click of a but­ton, a text, or a phone call.

“If you’re in the mid­dle of a busi­ness meet­ing or lunch, you don’t have to run out to feed the meter,” said Emily Wil­son, a mem­ber of Pass­port’s mar­ket­ing team. “We are ex­cited to in­tro­duce this new op­tion to Kennett Square park­ers. It’s a great al­ter­na­tive for peo­ple who don’t carry around change.”

The ex­ist­ing park­ing me­ters will still accept change, ac­cord­ing to Kennett Bor­ough Man­ager Joseph C. Scalise. The only dif­fer­ence driv­ers will no­tice is a sticker on the meter alert­ing them about the app.

“We’re just adding on new tech­nol­ogy to what’s al­ready there,” Wil­son said.

Pay­ments ac­cepted through the Pass­port Park­ing app in­clude MasterCard, Visa, Dis­cover, and Amer­i­can Ex­press. There will also be a “Ded­i­cated Wal­let” op­tion for pay­ment, as well as dis­count coupons. The park­ing charge will not be cred­ited un­til the end of the park­ing ses­sion.

The team from Pass­port Inc. has been work­ing with Kennett of­fi­cials since June to in­sti­tute the pro­gram. Vis­i­tors to nearby West Ch­ester will rec­og­nize the park­ing app as one that has al­ready been in place there since 2015.

“We hope peo­ple who fre­quent Kennett Square and West Ch­ester will be more com­fort­able us­ing the app,” Scalise said, adding that the bor­ough first learned about Pass­port Inc. while search­ing for app-based park­ing sys­tems.

Some of the ben­e­fits of Pass­port Park­ing, ac­cord­ing to Scalise and Wil­son, in­clude ease of reg­is­tra­tion and park­ing his­tory. To reg­is­ter, users en­ter their email ad­dress or phone num­ber; once that is done, they will have the abil­ity to pay for and ex­tend park­ing times, and also to track where and when they park on an on­go­ing ba­sis, just by ac­cess­ing the app on their phone or com­puter.

The app also of­fers mer­chants the abil­ity to val­i­date park­ing for their cus­tomers; some­thing Wil­son called a “great way to get lo­cal busi­nesses in­volved.” Mer­chants can pro­vide a val­i­da­tion code to cus­tomers that can then be used to off­set their park­ing costs.

Pass­port Inc. has launched in Swarth­more and Get­tys­burg and has pro­vided app-based mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions to cities, towns, uni­ver­si­ties and other groups in more than 47 states, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Cell­phones with the Pass­port Park­ing app can now be used to pay for park­ing in Kennett Square.

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