Happy Thanksgiving, Miamians.
And here's something to legitimately be thankful for: No more Pay By Phone parking service fees. Seriously. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) announced this week, the authority will absorb the $.35 fee that accompanies each Pay By Phone transaction.
"As a measure to try to give back to the community that we serve, but also to incentivize people," Rolando Tapanes, MPA's director of planning and development, told Riptide. "We did the numbers and we decided that it would be worthwhile for us to absorb the transaction fee."
Pay By Phone, a service that is expanding both in Miami and throughout the country, offers a modern alternative to parking meters: Through using the company's app, website, or by calling a number, users are able to pay for parking electronically instead of scrounging for quarters. The service also sends text message notices when the paid time is about to expire and allows users to add money remotely.
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Tapanes said there's no catch to removing the service fees from customers. As the authority was reviewing its contract with Pay By Phone, he said, it determined it actually made financial, as well as public relations, sense to simply absorb the fees: The idea is that without the annoying $.35 charges more people will be interested in registering for the service, and users will also be more likely to add money when their time is set to expire rather than risk a citation. (The MPA's revenue, Tapanes said, comes from the actual parking payments and not from tickets; that revenue goes to the county.)
"We think it'll definitely bear fruit," Tapanes said of the move. "By incentivizing people and reminding people to go back out and pay for their time...more people are going to be putting in that extra 50 cents as opposed to maybe overstaying their session and ending up with a citation on their windshield."