By late July, drivers in Philadelphia will be able to pay for parking with their cellphones and other mobile devices, under a contract announced Thursday by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
The PPA selected Pango USA, an American subsidiary of an Israeli company, to create a parking mobile-payment system that will allow users to pay by using a PPA smartphone app, visiting a PPA website, or calling an interactive voice system.
Users will be required to pay a "convenience charge" of 1 cent per transaction, and there may be additional "minor" fees, PPA spokesman Martin O'Rourke said Thursday.
Additional charges will be determined before a contract is signed with Pango in the next few days, O'Rourke said.
The system is expected to be in operation within 60 days of the contract signing, he said.
Initially, customers will be able to use the app for on-street parking in Center City (Fourth to 20th Streets, Arch to Locust Streets, and Columbus Boulevard from Spring Garden to Race Streets). Also to be included is a surface lot at 801 Chestnut St., which has 110 spaces, and the lot at SEPTA's Torresdale rail station, with 318 spaces.
After a six-month trial period, the mobile-payment system is expected to be expanded to the entire city.
The app will include an option for users to add time to a meter that is about to expire, with an increasing rate each time. The app can send reminders to motorists that their paid time is about to expire, the PPA said.
Under the proposed agreement, Pango will cover the cost of processing fees, wireless data plans for parking enforcement devices, all signs, and decals with instructions on the use of the app, as well as marketing to local businesses.
The PPA will have the ability to share in advertising revenue collected by Pango through the service.
Parkers will still be able to pay with cash.
The Parking Authority manages about 15,500 on-street paid spaces in the city, including 8,850 coin-operated meters and 1,020 kiosks that accept coins, bills, and credit cards. In fiscal 2014, the authority issued about 1.5 million tickets for parking violations.
Pango USA is a subsidiary of Pango Mobile Parking Ltd. with headquarters in Kadima, Israel, and New York City.