Parking in downtown Regina could become more convenient with the proposed introduction of a smartphone app in early 2019.
City administration is working on an app that would be an added option for convenience, on top of the parking meters already in place in the downtown core.
Drivers would be able to pay through the app at basically any spot with an existing parking meter. Instead of using the meter, they would enter their licence plate number through the app, which could then be checked by parking enforcement officers.
“To anybody except for an enforcement officer that can check to see if a car is validated, it would look like that vehicle is at an expired meter when in fact they’re not,” said Faisal Kalim, manager of parking services.
Drivers who do not wish to pay through the app can still pay with coins through the meter.
With no new infrastructure required, there’s no capital cost to this program. The company that runs the app makes money through a convenience fee that’s charged for each transaction which would be passed on to the customer. The procurement process is not yet completed but Kalim estimates that convenience fee would be no more than 35 cents per transaction.
There would be no change in parking rates as a result of this program, staying at $2 per hour. However, it would cost a little more through the app with the estimated convenience fee of 35 cents for a total of $2.35/hour.
The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of illegal parking. Kalim explained some people who forget change may decide to take the risk of being ticketed but the app provides another option.
“They do pay a little bit more to be able to use that app but they may save themselves from a 30 dollar ticket,” Kalim explained.
While there are still some bureaucratic processes the program has to go through before it’s approved by council, Kalim hopes the app can be rolled out in early 2019.