The City of Ithaca implemented significant new changes in the way residents and visitors would pay to park in Ithaca. The changes were made in order to make parking more versatile, convenient, accessible, and efficient.
Before the new pay stations were installed on the streets, residents and visitors could only pay using coins. The new pay stations now accept coins, cash, credit cards, or debit cards.
The Parkmobile app was also introduced in Ithaca as another alternative payment method. With Parkmobile, a person can pay to park using a mobile app on their smartphone without having to use a pay station.
Now there is a third option for on-street parking that provides yet another alternative for paying, the pre-paid scratch-off card. These cards can be purchased around town and come in multiple time increments. These cards can be used in lieu of setting up a parking transaction at one of the street pay stations.
The new parking pay stations now offer a service, Extend-by-Phone. This feature allows you to set up a notification to your phone before time is about to expire. If you set up your parking session using a credit or debit card, you can simply add more time to your session by sending a reply back to the original text message you receive on your phone (convenience charge applies).
With the changes to pay stations, the City of Ithaca increased the hourly street parking rate from $1.00/hr. to $1.50/hr. This was done to encourage all-day commuters and residents to park in the garages (where the hourly rate remained at $1.00/hr.), thus freeing up parking spaces on the street for short-term parking needs.
This, combined with a 2 Hour Parking limit, has considerably opened up parking spaces on the streets and made it more accessible for residents and locals to find a short term parking spot near their Downtown Ithaca or Collegetown destination.
The new program for paying to park on the street utilizes license plate recognition. When you set up your parking session, you only need to add your license plate to the parking session and you are all set. You do not need to print out a receipt and post it on your dashboard. Once you have set up a parking session you can move your car anywhere and as many times in pay-to-park zones throughout the duration of your parking session. You can also add time to your first transaction from your phone.
Not only do the new pay stations make more efficient use of your time, they are solar-powered, and more energy efficient!