77ºF

St. Augustine parking app set to debut next month

Drivers will be able to pay even if they're not near their cars

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., – The days of fumbling for coins or hoping you have a dollar bill smooth enough to work in a parking pay station will soon come to an end when the ParkStAug mobile parking app debuts next moth, officials said.

St. Augustine Mobility Program Manager Reuben Franklin will announce the availability of the city’s new mobile parking app called ParkStAug at a City Commission meeting Monday.

The app, available for free from both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store starting on Monday, Feb. 4, will allow users to pay for parking in all city-managed parking locations without having to use a parking meter or pay station.

By using the ParkStAug app, users will be able to pay for parking with their phones, receive alerts before a parking session expires and extend a parking session without ever having to return to the vehicle. And, since the vehicle is identified by its license plate, those who use the app will no longer have to display a receipt on the vehicle’s dashboard.

How does it work?

The app works like many others people are familiar with for online transactions. Once downloaded, the user enters information, including a method of payment, such as a credit or debit card, the license plate number of the vehicle, and that’s it.

Users can set up the app at home before ever venturing into downtown and seeking a parking location, officials said.

Once a vehicle is parked, the user opens the app, selects the zone where the vehicle is located designated on easily identified signage in the area, enters the desired amount of parking time -- called a session -- and with a quick click, the user is on their way. 

Then, when the session is about to expire, the user will receive an alert through the app and may then add time to the session if so desired.

So, what changes?

Perhaps the most noticeable change is the removal of parking meters. Parking pay stations will remain and will be available for anyone not wishing to use the ParkStAug app. Eliminating parking meters, a fixture in downtown St. Augustine for almost 75 years, will reduce sidewalk clutter, making mobility easier for pedestrians, wheelchairs and strollers. 

What is not changing is the cost of parking or the hours of enforcement, officials said.

Rates remain at $2.50 per hour with parking sessions limited to three hours for on-street spaces and four hours in parking lots. Parking will continue to be enforced Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., except on Cathedral Place and King Street, where enforcement does not begin until 10 a.m. and in the parking lot for the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, where parking is enforced on Sundays as well. 

What about the ParkNow Card?

The ParkStAug app does include access to discounted parking rates, such as those available through the ParkNow Card. For those who still have funds on their current ParkNow Card, the card is still valid at the pay stations. However, in the future, the ParkNow Card will be phased out with ample advanced notice so as to allow those with the card to deplete pre-paid amounts remaining on the card.

For more information

Frequently asked questions and instructions on how to access, download and use the parking app are available at a new web site at www.ParkStAug.com under the support tab.

The help questions are extensive and are categorized under several headings, and questions may be submitted by typing them into the form. The site may be reached also through the city’s website at www.CityStAug.com.

Those who wish to speak to someone directly may call the city’s Parking Division at 904-825-1090, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The mobility update report to the City Commission may be seen on Monday, Jan. 28 live at GTV/Comcast channel 3 and at www.CityStAugTV.com, where the meeting may be seen on-demand the day following the meeting. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King St. and is open to the public.


About the Authors: