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Don’t forget about Oxford’s parking app

If you’re at a restaurant and not quite done with your food but know your parking meter is up, do you just take the ticket or run out and let your food get cold?

You don’t have to do either, thanks to an app.

Matt Davis, parking director for the city of Oxford, said income has been pretty steady on the parking meters this fall with the return of students, football and shopping, but he does encourage more people to use the Passport Parking app.

“The popularity of it really is increasing as time goes on, but a lot of people don’t know it’s available,” Davis said. “Once they get a ticket, they tell us, ‘hey, we ran out of time,’ and that’s when we educate them on the availability. A lot of people will download it right there in the office.”

He said a lot of out-of-town visitors utilize the app, which can be used to pay for parking in many cities across the country that have a contract with the company.

“It’s still not being used as much as we’d like, but the tool is there,” Davis said. “People just still aren’t aware.”

Mike Harris, director of parking and transportation with the University of Mississippi, said there are 76 meters on campus also, and they use the Passport Parking app as well. He said as soon as more lots open, they will add more meters that will connect to the app. He also encourages everyone to utilize the technology whenever possible.

To use the app, visit the Play Store on your phone and type in Passport Parking and it pops up. You create a user name, password, set up the financial information and whenever the user utilizes it, there is a 35 cent-flat rate per transaction along with the cost for the meter.

“The city pays nothing for it,” Davis said. “The user basically pays any fees. Everything is charged to the customer. All we are doing is allowing Passport to use our meters to use their equipment.”

The city has taken in $1,048.51 this fall from the mobile function: $972.02 in September, $1,146.42 in October and $1,027.09 in November. That income combines with payments of cash and credit from the 286 meters.

Cash and credit payments ran neck-in-neck this fall, averaging $27,552.53 in income from cash and $27,144.50 in credit card income each month.

While the income from parking meters went down in November, it will pick back up and Davis said everything is functioning properly and going well with the parking department.

“We’re steadily busy,” he said. “The kids and everybody are out of town and we’ll start seeing a reduction. The system is still consistent and we don’t have any major issues and we’re taking it day by day and it’s doing really well.”

FYI

free parking

Due to the holiday, people can park for free on the Square on Thursday and Friday and again Jan. 1.