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Hudson tests pay by phone parking system

Coins can still be used to pay for parking or customers can scan the QR code on the meter with their smart phone to pay using a credit card. (Hudson Star-Observer by Margaret A. Ontl)1 / 3
The pilot program gives visitors the option of downloading an application for their smart phones which would allow them to pay by credit or debit card. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Margaret A. Ontl)2 / 3
Brandon Rivard, executive vice president of Passport Parking, stands by The Phipps parking lot where the city of Hudson is running a pilot program giving visitors different options to pay for parking. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Margaret A. Ontl)3 / 3

Visitors and residents in Hudson can now use technology to pay for parking, thanks to the implementation of PassportParking's Mobile Payment for Parking.

The pilot program was launched Sept. 4 and will run for three months. Residents and visitors may pay for parking using their mobile phones if they are parked in The Phipps lot at the intersection of First and Locust streets.

"We're excited to be joining forces with the Hudson Police Department and the City Council, add them a the growing family of Passport powered facilities across the country," said Brandon Rivard, executive vice president at PassportParking. "I love that we can help customers that want to make electronic payment and make their life easier."

"The city of Hudson chose PassportParking because we wanted to add the convenience of electronic payment while keeping existing coin-options for our parkers," said Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen.

"In the department we were looking at the aging meters and trying to find a way to keep them in service for the city. Glen Hartman came across the Passport Parking program. Our biggest concern from people was they had to run out to the meter after two hours. Now they can plug the meter without having to run out to it."

To use the mobile pay system, customers register on-site for free via the PassportParking Mobile Pay app or voice system. Once securely registered, motorists can pay for parking by using the mobile payment option, calling a toll-free number, or texting their zone and space information. Motorists can also select the option to receive text message alerts and reminders 15 minutes prior to the expiration of their parking session.

Additionally, drivers who use PassportParking's mobile pay technology will be able to log in using their Facebook accounts to find nearby businesses that offer validation. After visiting a participating business, parkers merely input the appropriate code to automatically receive their parking discount. The Mobile Payment program also allows merchants to validate all or part of a parker's stay.

"We are excited about the city adding new public parking tools and we are training staff to help our guests take advantage of the new technology on the nearby lot," said Andrew Kron, owner Pier 500.

"Customers will be able to extend their stay <\_> if they want to stay for dessert for instance," said Rivard.

Jensen can monitor the lot from his computer to determine how often the system is used and which of the 54 spaces are being used. He can see the current and active spaces.

"After the three month pilot, if it is being accepted and used we will consider expanding it to other lots, perhaps citywide," said Jensen.

"One of the best aspects of PassportParking is that it doesn't require new equipment," said Rivard. "Cities can use existing devices." Other cities that have implemented the program include Wisconsin Dells, Omaha, Neb., and Council Bluffs and Dubuque, Iowa. "Once you sign up, the next time it is faster. Another advantage is that parkers will be able to extend their stay without going out to the meter."

It is also multilingual, offering both English and Spanish.

PassportParking, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., is the industry's leading provider of integrated cloud-based parking solutions. The company provides the most advanced technology and equipment in an enterprise suite that allows parking providers and owners to manage parking and enforcement operations more effectively and efficiently. They are operating in 35 states. For additional information, go to or contact Brandon Rivard at 704) 837-8066 ext. 104 or