City begins search for new parking service company

With the contract of the company currently running the payment services for Phoenix parking meters set to expire in November, the city is looking for a new company to take over the role. (Brenna Grier/DD)

Phoenix is searching for a new company to run payment services for parking meters.

The city’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee authorized the Street Transportation Department to begin soliciting proposals from pay-by-phone parking service companies.

Phoenix instituted pay-by-phone parking two years ago. The company that created the technology, Pango, was contracted out by the city of Phoenix in 2014.

This upcoming November, the contract will officially expire. Pango allows customers to pay parking meters through an app rather than through traditional meters.

The subcommittee agenda stated that the pay-by-phone services provided by Pango had “provided customer satisfaction since launching on February 12, 2015.”

The agenda also stated the service provided the city “increased annual gross revenues during the past year by approximately $26,000 and serves as an additional convenience option for meter users.”

The vendor that wins the contract must be “self-sufficient, independently-operated” according to the report.

Street Transportation Department Director Ray Dovalina said several companies applied when the city first implemented the program, and it was possible Pango could get the contract again.

Tempe uses a company Dovalina said is very similar to Pango. Pay-by-phone parking services have been utilized in cities across the country such as New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

“The intent for today’s action was to move forward with the advertising of the pay-by-phone service,” Dovalina said.

Dovalina said he does not expect this will cause a fluctuation in the collection of revenue. He also said there are still some coin-operated meters for shorter parking periods. Downtown Devil reported in September the revenue collected over the 2015-16 fiscal year had increased thanks to the phasing out of most coin-operated. An 11 percent increase was forecasted for the current fiscal year.

RELATED: City sees almost 20 percent increase in parking meter revenue as coin-only option phases out

The agenda stated the initial contract term will be for three years, with an option to extend it for two additional one-year periods.

The pay-by-phone service will be available for over 2,000 parking meters located downtown, uptown and near the Capitol, according to the agenda.

Contact the reporter at Richard.Walton.1@asu.edu.