About six years ago, the City of Raleigh replaced old-fashioned parking meters with electronic pay stations that take credit cards. Credit card payments now account for more than half of parking transactions in the city.

Now, city officials have another plan to make paying for parking even easier, and they’ll be rolling out a pilot program this fall in several locations.

Passport Parking is a Charlotte-based app that allows drivers to pay from their mobile devices. No credit cards, no remembering space numbers, no fiddling with coins – for those still do it.

Passport Parking launched as a company in 2010 and raised $6 million in venture capital in 2013.

People can load money onto the app and then pay in the car based on the zone or space where they park.

Raleigh will be experimenting with the app beginning in October along parts of Hillsborough Street near North Carolina State University.

City parking administrator Gordon Dash says the app is about more than just convenience. Outdoor payment stations aren’t perfect, especially in the rain.

“You can imagine, whenever anything gets wet inside, it’s going to cause malfunctions,” he said.

If Raleigh’s test of the app is successful, the city could add more downtown parking spots to an app-based payment service.

Dash says many Raleigh City Council members would eventually like a one-stop app for all kinds of payments to the city, including transit fares.


Reporter: Brian Shrader
Web Editor: Derek Medlin