toronto parking meter

Pay by phone parking coming to Toronto

Paying for parking in Toronto is about to become technology friendly. Starting this summer, the Toronto Parking Authority is planning to open up some Green P parking lots to mobile phone payments with an eye to expanding the scheme to on-street spaces later in the year.

It will probably work something like this, although some details are still up in the air: Users will register their license plate, credit card, and mobile phone numbers with the city and agree to receive messages when their meter or pay-and-display slip is about to expire. Instead of returning, users will be allowed to buy more time remotely.

Earlier this year, city council again approved a 10-minute grace period for overstayers at the discretion of the enforcement officer (scofflaws and repeat offenders shouldn't expect an easy ride). Combining the two should, the city believes, should result in fewer parking tickets and less pressure on the court system. According to the Toronto Star, more than 74,000 cases were deferred in 2012 due to a lack of available courtrooms.

The TPA expects the scheme to expand to the city's 18,000 on-street parking spaces after the summer. Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg have similar systems already in place.

City council voted to adopt the necessary by-law changes Tuesday.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Gadjo Sevilla/blogTO Flickr pool.


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