Philly Courts to Start Having Visitors Lock Cell Phones in Bags

Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center. Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

Visitors to the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice will soon have to do more than just go through a metal detector — they’ll have to lock up their cell phones, too.

But it won’t be similar to the old system at the CJC, where you’d have to “check in” your cell phone with an employee. Instead, you’ll have to put your phone in a small pouch that will render it essentially inoperable. No texts. No internet. No phone calls.

The CJC is partnering with Yondr, a company that makes the pouches to create what it calls “phone-free events and spaces.” The devices have been used by people like Dave Chappelle, Guns n’ Roses, and Childish Gambino to prevent recording at their shows.

Hannibal Buress has also partnered with Yondr to prevent people from recording his shows, but we can’t understand why. (Sorry.) Read more »

PPA Hopes to Let You Pay for Parking With Your Cell Phone

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is hoping to allow you to pay for parking with your cell phone by next summer. Well, “hopefully,” a spokesperson says.

The technology is already in place in cities near Philadelphia, including Allentown and Camden. The PPA actually posted a request for information (RFI) about pay-by-cell parking, but has since said the RFI “will be revised and re-posted at later date.”

Fortunately, the the actual RFI is still on the PPA’s site (PDF). It’s pretty standard stuff. The PPA is (was?) simply looking to “explore available options with currently marketed services utilized by various government entities for Pay-by-Cell solutions.”

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You’ll Soon Be Able to Use Your Cell Phone on PATCO Underground

PATCO Speedline riders will soon be able to use their cell phones underground, following the installation of cellular transmission equipment in PATCO’s tunnels. There is a catch, however: Only Verizon customers will be able to use their cell phones at first.

The rollout of the service is expected to take place in October or November. A PATCO official said other cellular carriers may be able to use the network eventually. The first four stations that will have cellular equipment installed will be the four in Philadelphia.

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