City planning new meter payment option through cell phones

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — All across Buffalo, people may soon be paying parking meter tolls on their cell phones.

The announcement by Mayor Byron Brown says that a new option allowing payment through a smartphone application may be available by Spring — and maybe even by the end of Winter.

The process would simply involve reading a number on a parking meter, typing it into a smartphone application, and selecting how many hours to pay for.

With this option, users could add more money to the meter without even going back to their car.

“Fifteen minutes before your time expires, you’re gonna get a text that says ‘Was your parking time adequate?’ Would you like to purchase another hour, or another two hours?” said Kevin Helfer, Buffalo parking commissioner.

Mayor Brown says a request for proposals by a company that can install a system for smartphone-based payment has been sent out.

The company to get the job of installing the system will be decided next month.

“We are looking for the best proposal, the best option for the City, the best price for the City, so we want to keep this as cost-effective for consumers as possible,” said Brown.

The new system would still give drivers the option to pay by cash or credit card if they choose to do so.

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