Paying to park in downtown Oxford may soon get easier, but cost more for the convenience



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OXFORD, Mississippi — Paying to park around the Square in downtown Oxford may soon get easier and a little more expensive for those who seek convenience.

The Oxford Downtown Parking Advisory Commission has voted to recommend to the Board of Aldermen to approve a new phone app that will allow visitors and residents to pay for parking from their phone using a debit or credit card.

The Oxford Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/18lMZZE ) it will cost the user 10 cents more per transaction. Currently, there is a 25-cent fee to pay for the meters using a debit or credit card in the meter.

With Passport's Mobile Pay, a user will pay 35 cents per transaction. That means if they pay for one hour, they will be charged $1.35. If they pay for three hours, they will be charged $3.35.

However, one feature with Passport allows users to put money in their "wallets," foregoing a usage fee for each transaction.

Users can pay using the app on their phone, online through their website, or by calling or texting from their phone for those without data plans.

The app allows users to extend their time on the meter without having to get up from their lunch or dinner to feed the meter.

Passport also works with local merchants to extend parking discounts to Passport users.

Mike Harris, director of parking and transportation with the University of Mississippi, said the university will also be using Passport with its meters when school starts back up in the fall.

Commissioner Tom Sharpe suggested, if the aldermen approve the recommendation to contract with Passport, that the city and university do a "roll out" together.

"It will make it easier for everyone by us and the university having the same program," Sharpe said.

The approval was contingent on word from the city's legal team as to whether the city would need to seek bids for this type of service.


Information from: Oxford Eagle, http://www.oxfordeagle.com

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