MANCHESTER — An aldermanic committee is scheduled to hear a recommendation this week on a proposal that would allow drivers in Manchester to use their cellphones to pay for parking.
The item appears on the agenda for this week’s meeting of the Aldermanic Committee on Public Safety, Health and Traffic, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall.
Back in February the city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a pay-by-cell system that enables parking payments for the city’s on-street and off-street parking meters.
Currently, the city’s on- and off-street paid parking is managed by MacKay coin-operated meters, Cale pay-and-display meters, and several Cale pay-by-space meters.
Manchester manages the downtown on-street and Millyard on-street spaces, along with the parking lot and garage spaces, with two different time limits, 2 hour and 10 hour, all at 75 cents per hour Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., as determined by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Elm Street spaces are also enforced on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are approximately 1,900 metered on-street parking spaces in the city, 200 of which have 10-hour limits. The remaining 1,700 have 2-hour limits.
Manchester has approximately 1,400 off-street metered spaces, 850 of which carry 10-hour limits, with a max price of $6. The remaining 550 spaces have 2-hour limits.
The breakdown of the off-street spaces is as follows: Myrna Lot has 130 spaces, Arms Lot has 300, Victory Garage has 858, Hartnett Lot has 50, Middle Lot has 68 and Pearl Lot has 50.
According to the RFP, the city’s goals for the project are to:
• Select a vendor with expertise in providing pay-by-cell parking services, particularly in on-street and municipal parking lot environments, at no net cost to the city.
• Select a vendor that charges a reasonable convenience fee for services offered.
• Select a vendor that can offer and develop added value services to users of the system.
• Require the vendor to provide best practices to accompany the signage and to also develop, coordinate and execute (with the assistance of the city) a marketing campaign to promote the service.
• Employ a system where rates and operational schedules can be programmed and re-programmed easily and quickly in a manner that does not require any down-time.
• Have access to a real-time analytics dashboard.
According to a memo from city parking manager Denise Boutilier, the city received eight responses to the RFP, and staff conducted interviews with the top three vendors — Passport Parking, ParkMobile and Flowbird.
Based on cost, approach to services, qualifications and readiness to get underway, Boutilier recommends Passport Parking for the project. The company operates mobile parking systems in Cambridge, Mass.; New Haven and Hartford, Conn.; and Providence, R.I.
In the memo, Boutilier reports Passport Parking’s proposed convenience fee to customers is 32 cents per transaction, reduced to 24 cents with a $10 account balance with the company.
Boutilier writes there are no implementation costs or ongoing operating costs to the city associated with Passport Parking’s proposal.
“We anticipate this pay by cell option will generate, over time, approximately 25-50 percent of parking division parking meter revenue,” Boutilier wrote.