City council approves mobile payment for parking

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COLUMBIA - Soon, people may be able to pay for parking without leaving the comfort of their car.

The Columbia City Council unanimously passed a proposal for an agreement with Parkmobile USA, Inc. Monday to allow payment for parking using mobile technology.

Using an app called 'Parkmobile', people can register by linking the app with their credit card or PayPal account. Meters will have a number visible on them that users will then type in to the app and set the length of time they wish to park for.

Users can also sign up for optional alerts that tell you when you have 15 minutes remaining on your meter, while some meters will even allow you to extend your parking session from the app.

Deron Briggs, a Columbia resident, thinks the service will be more efficient.

"I would definitely do it. Being a resident of Columbia, knowing I do so much of my business here in the city. It is more convenient to be able to do that," Briggs said.

The Columbia City Council also unanimously approved an ordinance to change the on-street parking enforcement hours to between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. These changes will take effect early in the new year. The current on-street parking enforcement hours are between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A representative of Park Mobile introduced the app to city council members in an effort to expand Park Mobile on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Park Mobile, a mobile app created in October 2014, provides users a more efficient way to pay for their parking on the street by syncing the payment of parking meters directly to the user's mobile device. (KOMU/Taylor Nakagawa)