City Hall Wants to Delay Parking App

Says school district could lose funds if payments too easy.

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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:

But the Nutter administration wants to put the brakes on this because it could lead to fewer tickets written and a drop in the ticket revenues that go the cash-starved school district.

“It’s great news for customers,” Andrew Stober, with the mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, says of the proposed app. “They’re far less likely to get a ticket as a result of mobile payment technology. (But) the way we’ve set up our revenues from the Parking Authority, that’s bad news for the school district.”

The city and school district share in the net proceeds of the PPA’s on-street operation. Stober (below) says last year that came to about $37 million to the city, and $9.7 million to the school district.

He says the mayor wants the Parking Authority to hold off on the mobile app until its revenue impact is studied.

PPA officials dispute the prospect of lost revenue, and want citywide rollout for the app out by the end of the year.