Parkers in Oak Park may not have to tolerate jingling pockets as the village implements a pay-by-phone parking service.
The Oak Park Village Board on Monday directed staff to move forward with the implementation of the new parking system, "Passport Parking," which allows customers pay for parking with their phone for a convenience fee of 35 cents per transaction.
The village solicited requests for proposals for the service at the end of 2012, and chose the "Passport Parking" option of the two vendors that responded. The second vendor offered a service that would cost users 40 to 50 cents per transaction, according to a village staff memo.
Customers would download an app the first time they use the service and create a PIN to use in all future transactions.
The service will also send customers an alert when their time is about to expire and allow them to add time from their phone.
The village will need to spend about $5,000 on smart phones for parking enforcement officers, but revenue generated from the service should offset the expense, according to the memo.
Oak Park businesses can also offer parking validation or discounts through the service, Jill Velan, interim manager for parking and mobility services in Oak Park told village trustees Monday.
The service has been implemented in neighboring communities including Glenview, Brookfield and Downers Grove.
Board members and staff discussed the option of implementing the service in select parts of the community, but opted to roll it out everywhere, as it should be a popular service. The Village of Oak Park has about 1,500 parking meters and about 500 pay-by-space parking spaces, according to the memo.
Trustee Colette Lueck said she'd prefer to offer the service everywhere for consistency in the village.
"I think our parking is already so complicated that the more we can have uniform standards... the better," she said.
The service is not mandatory, though. Customers who prefer to feed meters with loose change can continue to do so.