Sault Ste. Marie Seeks Mobile Payment Solution for Parking Machines

Residents of Sault Ste. Marie should expect mobile payment options for downtown parking soon, as the city is seeking a solution for its solar-powered Pay and Display parking machines, reports Soo Today.

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The city says it has held some initial talks with Toronto-based app Honk Mobile, which supplies a turn-key mobile parking solution and e-commerce website for drivers. The service is used throughout Canada within various cities and post secondary institutions.

But Honk Mobile is not the only company in the running, as according to Tom Vair, chief administrative officer for community development and enterprise services for the city, other companies and proposals are being considered as well.

There are currently 19 solar-powered parking machines in the downtown area, and last night, Sault Ste. Marie City Council approved the purchase of 20 more units at the cost of $151,279.

Sam Piraino, manager of transit and parking, said implementing a mobile payment solution to parking machines would not require more investment from taxpayers, as mobile solutions usually cover that cost with a service charge.

Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker put forth an idea to sell ad space on the back of paper parking tickets from parking machines, as an additional source of revenue.