The new service was unveiled Thursday and is now active in “the downtown retail area between 1st and 9th Avenue, Seneca and Stewart Streets,” according to SDOT. The service is expected to be rolled out to Capitol Hill and the remainder of the city by the end of summer.
For $0.35 per transaction, parkers can use the service’s smartphone app or call a toll-free number to pay for parking on Seattle’s streets. You can also set it up to send a message when your time is about to expire. The service eliminates the need to waste time waiting for the often gummed-up pay stations to contact your bank for approval or whatever they’re doing while you stand there and wait for them not to work. It also will eliminate the smudge of stickum and torn paper that collects on frequently parked vehicles’ windows. It’s not all goodness, however — the payments are geography specific so, unlike the pay station stickum receipts, your paid status won’t be portable to other parts of the city.
The biggest win from a convenience factor, of course, is the ability to remotely extend your parking without having to run to the pay station. The service promises to “Extend parking time remotely (if time available) from any phone to avoid tickets.” Sadly, you won’t be able to “feed the meter” and overstay 2 and 4-hour limits and, unless you’ve got an app we don’t, you can’t move your car from afar — so, yeah, some of us will still have to make a meter run from time to time.
The pay-by-phone system is the latest addition to an overhaul of paid parking in Seattle that has happened in recent years starting with introduction of tiered payment zones in different parts of the city based on demand and nighttime paid parking. The next step? If actions in other cities are any indication, Seattle will also implement dynamic pricing based on short-term demand.
More on the pay-by-phone system — and a short movie explaining how it works — below.
Pay by Phone Parking is coming soon
Parking pay by phone is now available as of Thursday July 18, 2013. SDOT started service in the downtown retail area between 1st and 9th Avenue, Seneca and Stewart Streets. Remaining paid parking areas will be rolled out by this fall.
In 2012, SDOT brought onPayByPhone (paybyphone.com) after a competitive vendor procurement process. PaybyPhone offers services in many Seattle private lots and garages and in 180 cities in North America and Europe. PayByPhone adds a $0.35 fee per transaction.
How does parking by phone works?
- Call 1-888-515-7275, go to paybyphonecom or download the PayByPhone app. Sign up and follow directions to register your cars with a credit card.
- After parking, look for the Location Number on a nearby pay by phone parking sign or at the closest pay station on your side of the street. Do not use a Location Number on a different street.
- Enter Location Number, choose correct vehicle license plate number, desired length of stay, and confirm your payment.
What Are the Benefits?
- No need to visit the pay station and return to your car with a receipt
- Optional text message reminders before your parking time expires
- Extend parking time remotely (if time available) from any phone to avoid tickets
- Pay for parking from the comfort and safety of your vehicle
- View and print parking receipts online through paybyphone.com
What do signs look like?
Look for new pay by phone parking signs at every pay station with a unique Location Number. You must use the correct Location Number for the side of the street that you are parked. Parking by phone payment is NOT portable as it is with pay stations.
How does enforcement work?
Nothing changes at the pay station, and you do not need a receipt to display. When you pay by phone, Seattle Police Department Parking Enforcement Officers will see your payment status automatically in real time on their enforcement equipment.
Please note that if your vehicle has a vanity plate, you should register your license plate number as written on your vehicle registration document. Also, debit cards are not accepted.
Where can I pay by phone?
Parking pay by phone will start in commercial retail core between Seneca St, Olive Way, 1st Ave and 9th Ave. Citywide implementation is expected by summer’s end.
While project was originally planned to launch in fall 2012, significant development and testing was required to ensure a smooth and effective integration with current Seattle Police Department equipment.