The Brief: Pay by Phone Parking Coming to Philly Really Soon

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1. Parking kiosk down again? No problem.

The gist: PlanPhilly reports that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has picked a company — Pango USA — to provide a pay by phone parking service. The cost to the consumer is one cent per transaction, PlanPhilly reports. The system could be ready to go within 60 days, but will be piloted between 4th and 20th Streets and Arch and Locust Streets first. Read more »

PPA Mobile App Taking Shape

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Philadelphians should be getting a lot less of these soon.

It’s not every day (or any day, really) that I find myself saying good things about the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Yes, it’s got a rep as a tyrannical organization that shows no remorse (or mercy) with its monopoly on parking tickets and towing in the city. But, the PPA is working hard on a mobile app that will allow users to pay for parking at meters or in lots with their smartphones — and that’s got to be applauded.

On Thursday, the PPA announced a partnership with Pango to deliver the new payment option. The PPA said it was selected from five vendors and allows the PPA to share in advertising revenue generated from the app.

Read more »

City Hall Wants to Delay Parking App

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The Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to offer a new smartphone app that would nearly automate the process of paying for on-street parking, but it has run into opposition from the Nutter Administration. Turns out the city that gave the world Parking Wars depends on some friction in the process.

Otherwise, officials say, it’ll be hard to raise money for Philadelphia public schools. KYW reports: Read more »

9 Reasons Not to Observe April Fools’ Day in Philly

Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

In some parts of the country, I can see how April Fool’s Day has the potential to be fun. Everyone likes a good prank, and even a lame one deserves some credit on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon.

But in Philly? This city messes with our heads year-round.

I’m not talking about the cute, folksy, “how-weird-is-Philly?!” stuff that populates Buzzfeed lists. If you’ve spent 15 minutes here, the Mummers make perfect sense: glitter, feathers, booze. So does Wing Bowl: meat, boobs, booze. (Was that really so hard? Act like you know and let’s never speak of this again.)

No, I’m talking about the arbitrary, home-grown psychological warfare that Philadelphia wages on a daily basis, seemingly for sport.

Every day is April Fool’s Day around these parts, and after enduring the below petty mind games, we owe it to each other to abstain from the holiday. Or, at the very least, direct all of our efforts toward the PPA. Read more »

The Price of a Philadelphia Taxi Medallion Keeps on Dropping

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The taxi business apparently isn’t what it used to be in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Parking Authority in May will start selling cab medallions — the licenses required to own and operate a cab in the city — starting at $50,000 for a minimum bid. That might sound like a lot, but it pales compared to the $475,000 per medallion that the PPA tried (and failed) to sell just last fall.

PPA’s “General Counsel Dennis Weldon says there were concerns about the cost of making cabs accessible, which the medallions required, and competition from ride share services,” KYW reports, “so the authority is starting a new process with a minimum bid of $50,000.” Read more »

No More Stinky, Old, Beat Up Cabs for Philadelphia?

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Anyone (okay, almost anyone) who rides taxicabs in Philadelphia with any frequency knows that compared to other major cities, our cabs are pretty terrible, which is part of the reason that services like Uber, UberX and Lyft are so damn popular here. Why on earth would you want to take a dirty old cab when these newfangled car services are so convenient, modern and clean? Read more »

Uber Helping PPA Bust UberX Drivers

An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA.

An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA. Photo | Courtesy of the PPA

Two weeks ago, UberX drivers in the Philadelphia area received an email from Uber HQ telling them that if they wanted to remain Uber “partners,” they needed to comply with some new requirements. First, they would have to get a special PennDOT safety inspection. And second, they would need to display an Uber decal on their car. Read more »

Lyft Planning to Launch in Philadelphia

Lyft, the ride-hailing service that is the chief competitor to Uber, is planning to launch in Philadelphia.

Billy Penn reported on a Craigslist ad asking for drivers as well as Lyft signage at City Coho, a co-working space at 2401 Walnut Street.

After several controversies surrounding Uber, The New York Times Nick Bilton wrote the company is a “moral alternative.” Lyft costs about the same as UberX, the lower-cost alternative to Uber Black.

Read more »

Update: Philly Parking Kiosks Taking Cards Again

UPDATE: The PPA announced credit cards are working in parking kiosks again. “We want to apologize for any inconvenience caused by the failure of our kiosks to accept credit card payments,” PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said in a statement. “We worked throughout the weekend to successfully correct this technical problem and things are now back to normal.”

EARLIER: People constantly complain about the PPA’s parking kiosks in Center City, but things have been even worse the past few days. On Saturday night, the PPA announced kiosk spots would be free on Sunday due to problems with processing credit card payments. Old-style standalone meters were still enforced.

Today, the PPA is enforcing parking regulations at kiosks in Center City, but no credit card payments will be accepted.

Read more »

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