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Now, in Coral Gables: Use Your Cellphone to Pay for Parking

Editor's note: The following is a notice sent to all residents of Coral Gables, FL.

If parking meters in the City of Coral Gables are looking a little green these days, it is for a very good reason. New green stickers on the city's parking meters are announcing that you can now pay for parking through the use of cellphones.
The park-and-pay by cellular phone program is available in all on-street and off-street parking locations operated by the city, and is the first of its kind in the United States.
The City of Coral Gables has entered into a relationship with Canada-based Mint Inc., a company that provides electronic payment solutions, making the stressful task of finding the right amount of coins to feed the meters a thing of the past.
Customers opting to use this new system must first register for service by calling 1-866-Pay Mint (1-866-729-6468) or logging in at www.mintinc.com. A Visa or Master Card credit card number, license plate number, cellular phone and e-mail information [are] required for registration. A confidential password is provided to each user.
Customers can choose between two payment packages: 25 cents per parking transaction or $7 a month for unlimited parking transactions. In addition to these transaction fees, the user's credit card will be charged for the applicable parking fees.
When a car is parked on the street or in a lot that offers the wireless payment option, consumers call the posted telephone number on the meter from a mobile phone to log in and start the parking session. When customers leave the parking spot, the number must again be called to log out and end the parking session. The program calculates the appropriate parking charges based on the total elapsed transaction time. Customers are responsible for logging out of the system and are liable for any fees incurred until such time as the user actually logs out.
While parked, a sticker displayed on the rear bumper identifies the car's owner as a program subscriber to parking enforcement staff. The parking enforcement officer can also verify that the vehicle is engaged in a parking session.
The cost of the parking session, plus the transaction fee, is charged against the credit card that the customer specified during registration. Finally, a message is sent confirming the transaction, and customers can review the transaction anytime online.

For more information about the Park-and-Pay by Cellphone program, please contact the Parking Department at (305) 460-5540.

Article Abstract from September, 2005




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