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Parking meter price doubled on Passyunk; PPA exploring smart-phone payments

If you plan to park on the avenue for a couple hours, pack some quarters — eight of them.

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The price to park at a meter on Passyunk Avenue doubled from 50 cents to $1 an hour starting last month.

“Needless to say folks are not pleased,” said Renee Gilinger, director of the East Passyunk Business Improvement District. “I’ve asked Councilman [Mark Squilla's] office to request kiosks again. It was mentioned a few years ago.”

Turns out, though, by next summer we may get one step up from those green kiosks in Center City, which are confusing and have difficulty accepting paper money.

Anne Kelly in Squilla’s office said the Philadelphia Parking Authority “is considering ‘Pay by Phone,’ a mobile phone app for parking, and will no longer be installing kiosks.  Councilman Squilla has been in a meetings  about this.”

The meters still say the old price of $1 per hour.

The meters tell you the bad news, but $1 an hour isn’t too bad, right?

PPA sent out a “request for information” last month from companies that would provide the spiffed-up meters, reported. PPA hopes to have some sort of smart-phone payment system in place by next summer (though we heard something similar from SEPTA about its new payment technology coming this summer).

Details of how the program would work are not available because the vendor won’t be selected until at least the end of this year. Here’s how one program worked, as an example on

Both Allentown and Camden, as well as several other municipalities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, have contracted with New York-based platform provider MobileNOW! LLC.

After registering online, patrons can add money to their meter via credit card by using a smart phone app or by making a phone call and following the prompts. Customers can also remotely extend their parking session without returning to their car and receive text alerts when their time is almost up.

That would be helpful. But it’s going to be a long year for those folks who drive to work down here, no?

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14 Responses to Parking meter price doubled on Passyunk; PPA exploring smart-phone payments

  1. acer August 28, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    This is not an unreasonable increase, though I’m sure the locals who are opposed to any change at all will be the most vocal about it.

  2. Atrios August 28, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    businesses which simultaneously complain about parking woes while taking up the spaces closest to their shops are absurd. There’s plenty of non-metered parking in the area.

    • Jake August 29, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      They seem to think parking is some kind of god-given right.

  3. Aaron B August 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Still too cheap.
    Raise the rate to $5 / hour and watch people take the damn subway instead.

    • sc August 29, 2014 at 7:23 am #


  4. Taryn August 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I’ve been riding a bike for free for 10 years and Atrios is totally right, if you are a business owner, park a block away and let customers park ON the ave. As the manager of a furniture store, I can’t tell you how annoying it is when I see a certain business owner leave his office on the avenue, and feed the meter in front of my store all day while my customers are struggling to find a parking spot to pick up a 6′ solid wood dresser into their car.

    • Aaron B August 29, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Have you investigated getting a loading zone designation in front of your store?

      Certainly there’s precedent.

  5. Lauren August 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    They should do something about the meters not registering money when people put quarters in..It is very annoying and happens all the time on every single one of those meters!

  6. Xtian August 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Time to lose the meters and upgrade to self ticketed parking. It’s in the muni lot on Passyunk already.

    • adam September 3, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Agreed! They need to put the ticketing machines in and remove the meters across the city.

  7. Jake August 29, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I am very pleased to hear this. Higher meter prices means less drivers circling for parking, less cars in general, less congestion, and more room for bikes, buses, and pedestrians. Not to mention more income for the community. I say raise parking prices all across town.

    • AnthonyG August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Parking is waay too cheap. As it is now, plently of people just feed the meter all day, using the Avenue as their own private lot. Make it at least $5 hour, that will change some bad behaviour.

  8. Jay August 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Jake, how much money actually trickles down to the community? PPA is run by state Republicans. When this agency was stolen by the state legislature from the city government, in an unpublicized, late-night legislative session, (engineered, as I recall, by former state House Speaker, now-convicted felon John Perzel), it was claimed that the money would be used to fund the School District of Philadelphia. How did that work out? Mainly to create a lot of patronage jobs controlled by the Republican party (not just the street workers, but redundant middle management too). Last I heard, the School District was not doing too well.

    I own and use a car when I need to, commute by bike and Septa, and walk as much as I can. All car owners are not evil greedy rich polluters. And raising parking rates only helps PPA, which does NOT help Philadelphia citizens, businesses or their workers.

    • Andrew September 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      This is why the money should be split evenly between the neighborhoods that generate it and the city government. Even a 50/50 split would be better than what we have now.

      I’m up in Manayunk, and I’d love it if they made all the side streets permit only and jacked up the parking rates on Main St. Almost all of the cars driving around at night are just looking for parking.

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