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Politics & Government

Detroit to get "pay by plate" parking


DETROIT (AP) – Detroit plans to roll out a parking system that uses technology tied to license plates in an effort to improve enforcement efficiency and increase options for payment.

Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown told The Detroit News that a $3 million contract will transform its metering system to “pay-by-plate,” rather than by space.

The technology allows drivers to access a kiosk, enter in their license plate number and park in any space within a specific zone. Coins, credit cards or debit cards may be used for payment at kiosks and parking time may be purchased via mobile app or by phone.

“The overarching goal is to write less tickets, to give people every opportunity to feed the meter so they do not get a ticket and to spur economic development,” Brown said. “This system we know will produce less tickets because you are going to have more options to pay the meter.”

The city will also use license plate recognition software for enforcement. It can be used to scan plates and let authorities know whether time has been purchased. It will be more efficient than the current method of workers checking individual meters, Brown said.

Installation is expected to begin outside the city center this month or in early April. The system is to be fully operational by June. Once completed, Detroit’s system is expected to include 300 meter kiosk pay stations to control about 3,000 parking spaces.

License plate parking technology is in use in other cities including Pittsburgh.

Single-meter spaces will still be maintained in some areas. Last year, it was reported that about half of Detroit’s nearly 3,200 on-street meters didn’t operate properly. The city currently has a uniform $1-per-hour rate for parking, but officials are considering charging different rates.

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