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January 9, 2014

App now available for paid parking

NEWBURYPORT — Paying for parking in the city just got a little easier.

City officials say that beginning on Monday, motorists will be able to pay for parking with their cellphone using a mobile application for the iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry smartphones.

The technology comes from Parkmobile USA, an Atlanta company that specializes in mobile payments.

To use the system, customers can register for free at www.parkmobile.com or download the mobile app from that site. Once registered, users can use the mobile app, the Internet or a toll-free number to pay for parking, officials say.

After setting up the account, customers can start to use the program right away.

The system comes with a tool that sends out reminders 15 minutes prior to expiration of the parking session.

The new program is to be offered at all six municipal paid parking lots in the downtown.

“We see this as a great opportunity to offer a service enhancement to people parking in our lots,” said Mayor Donna Holaday in a statement.

City Clerk Richard Jones, who acts as city parking clerk, said the application offers parkers the option to pay without leaving their vehicles.

Parkmobile’s services are used in more than 500 cities around the world, its company officials say.

City officials say that cost of the service will not accrue to the city.

Each transaction costs 35 cents. A motorist generating a parking bill of $3 would pay 35 cents extra, and a $3.35 fee would appear on the next credit card bill, officials say.

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