City of Dayton brings touchless pay parking to downtown

DAYTON — The city of Dayton has approved a bold new step for downtown parking, signing a contract to bring touchless parking to Dayton.

City commissioners signed a contract with Passport Parking to give customers the chance to use their smartphone to pay at the meter.

Many people think downtown parking is just too much of a hassle. They have to find an open spot, fit into it and then come to the meter and decide whether to use coins or credit car and then worry about their time running out. Now, those problems may be solved simply by using your phone.

Nia Naoos, of Dayton, is a student at Sinclair Community College and was worked to make sure her time wouldn’t run out. She deposited $4.59.

“I usually use the credit card and today I used cash because I had it. Save me money,” Naoos said.

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Justin Robinson put as many quarters as he could into his meter. The machine said it was at its max. But, when he walked out, he found a ticket on his windshield.

“I thought it was two hours. I would have come out sooner,” he said. “There’s a ticket on the dog gone car! It’s real frustrating, especially when you drive 400 miles from Tennessee to come here.”

Those kind of horror stories are why city leaders believe the passport parking system is needed.

The North Carolina company will install the software in the meters. Then, you can download their app on your smartphone, create an account and enter your zone and meter signage. Then, pay on the phone with a credit card once you’re already registered.

There is no messing around with the meter.

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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said, “It’s just another easy way to park. What we’re trying to do is regulate parking, so people move in and out of the spaces. Make it easy.”

You can use the phone to extend your time at the meter without leaving a meeting or a lunch you may be having. City commissioners pointed out some of the other advantages.

“Darryl Fairchild said, “As a wheelchair user, the current meters are very difficult to use because the screen is above where I can see.”

If you meter does expire it will cost, $35 for a ticket. Certainly, this new passport app can save you hassle and headaches, plus potentially save some cash.

The city is paying Passport $85,000 for a contract that runs through the end of 2023. There is a .30 cent fee per transaction with the passport app in addition to the parking fee.