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Decatur testing text-to-pay options for parking

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Decatur testing text-to-pay options for parking

A reader provided this photo of a sign showing that Decatur has a new text-to-pay option for parking.

Decatur, GA — A reader noticed that Decatur has started offering an alternative to downloading and using the ParkMobile app to pay for parking.

The reader took a photo of a sign showing people can pay via text. The reader asked if Decatur has any plans to phase out the ParkMobile app. Assistant City Manager Linda Harris said the city doesn’t have any immediate plans to get rid of ParkMobile, but the city is collecting data on the text payment option.

“We have added a Text To Pay as a parking option,” Harris said. “You can text directly to pay and do not have to download an app to use it. This gives folks who might be visiting an option that doesn’t include downloading an app. We are monitoring the data to compare the use of Text To Pay vs. ParkMobile. The ParkMobile app is still active, which helps those who might be visiting who already have that app or residents who currently use ParkMobile. You can also still pay with coins at the pay stations.”

Harris said the Decatur Development Authority contracts with SP+ to manage the city’s parking, and that company has an agreement with ParkMobile and an agreement for the text-to-pay option, which is with a company called Passport.

Harris said Passport also provides the enforcement software for the city of Decatur.

The availability of parking has been a contentious issue in downtown Decatur and some businesses have cited a lack of parking as one of the reasons they left downtown. Aggressive booting on private lots also became an issue for people interested in shopping in Decatur. The city has set up a page on its website with information about various parking options. To see that page, click here.

But Decatur has also made efforts to create more infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists at the expense of parking. Last year, the city confirmed that most on-street parking would be removed as part of the Church Street cycle track project.

The city expects to complete that project in June.

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