(DDA Press Release with additional information from previous coverage added, 11/16/2011)
A big change will eliminate the need for small change in Downtown Ferndale when the district officially launches Parkmobile, a pay-by-phone parking system this Thursday, November 17.
The state-of-the-art system, available at every one of the district’s 1,221 meters, allows consumers to pay for parking via their cell phone and be worry-free about expired meters and parking tickets. In addition to the normal parking charge, there is a 35¢ fee per transaction. The city also pays processing fees to the company, but they expect to ultimately make more money with the program. The proposal was approved by City Council in July, which you can read details of here.
Prior to Parkmobile, consumers needed quarters to put time on the meter and had to track their time. While meter-feeding is still an option, the pay by phone system is as easy as making a phone call or logging on via a free smart phone app. Consumers simply register their phone and their vehicle’s license plate at www.parkmobile.com, log in and hit “start parking.” The system clocks the time until they hit “stop parking,” calculates the bill and charges it to the user’s previously registered credit card.
“It is now easier than ever to come to Downtown Ferndale and stay a while,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, Executive Director of the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority (DDA). “Our businesses wanted more convenience for their customers and our consumers demanded a more sophisticated system. We listened. This is a vital step in our ongoing effort to improve our parking system.”
“Parkmobile is very excited to be partnering with another progressive thinking city in the great state of Michigan,” said Michael Sanocki, Vice President of Operations, Parkmobile U.S. “Ferndale again has demonstrated its eagerness to be a cool, tech savvy city.”
The public (DDA& City)/private (Parkmobile) parnership has been evolving over the past several months and officially goes live at 4 pm, November 17 with a demonstration and ribbon cutting at 231 West Nine Mile.
Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter and City Manager April McGrath will be on hand along with Sheppard-Decius and Parkmobile’s Sanocki. Downtown Ferndale becomes the first city in Oakland County to deploy the program and joins a network of more than 150 cities nationwide, including three in Michigan – Dearborn, Petoskey and Grand Rapids.
Once registered with Parkmobile, consumers can use the system in any location in the U.S. where Parkmobile is used. Parkmobile’s enhancement of the Downtown Ferndale parking system follows the district’s recent installation of two electric car charging stations, another step in making the district a more attractive destination for all consumers. The Ferndale Downtown Development Authority is the economic redevelopment engine for Downtown Ferndale and as such manages and markets approximately 3.9 linear miles of property and businesses that comprise the district. For more information about the Downtown Ferndale, please call the DDA at 248-546-1632 or visit its website at www.downtownferndale.com.