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Pay-by-phone parking closer

| Thursday, March 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Motorists who buy monthly passes to park in downtown Latrobe may soon get the chance to purchase them with their smartphones.

The Latrobe Parking Authority Tuesday appointed Carl “Skip” Bollinger and Dr. James Ramsay to join city manager Alex Graziani in reviewing a proposal from Pango Shyyny USA LLC to expand the pay-by-phone mobile parking technology it employs for motorists parking at metered spaces in the city.

Rather than having motorists or employers pay for their parking passes at City Hall, which requires city employees to process that paperwork, Graziani said Pango could complete purchases through their online system.

Pango would charge about 5 percent of the parking pass revenue collected as an administrative fee, rather than the 17 percent fee that it charges the city for all of the revenue it collects, said Dani Shavit, chief executive of Pango Shyyny USA.

Pango is seeking a two-year contract for processing the online passes, Shavit said. Pango has a two-year contract with for the mobile parking system, which the city approved in March 2012.

The parking authority realized about $107,000 in revenue from the parking passes in 2012. The authority would have lost about $5,000 in revenue under the online system, said authority member John Hauser.

The online purchasing system would reduce the administrative work at the city and eliminate the need for motorists to have parking passes, because Pango tracks its users by license plate, Graziani said. Those using the Pango system do not need to put money into a parking meter because the parking enforcement officer has a device that can access Pango's data system.

“We need to be customer-driven,” Graziani said.

Even if Pango begins accepting online payments, Graziani said the city will still be able to take payments at City Hall.

In other parking matters, Graziani said that the city still is waiting for a final inspection of the elevator at its renovated downtown garage between Spring and Weldon streets.

But, before the elevator will become operational, Graziani said the city wants to have security cameras installed to deter vandalism. The city has not decided on the type of cameras.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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