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Pay to park through smartphone coming to downtown Chico

Parking in downtown Chico could soon be a bit more convenient if you have a smartphone.

Posted: Jan 9, 2020 7:32 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2020 10:07 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Parking in downtown Chico could soon be a bit more convenient if you have a smartphone.

The Pew Research Center said more than 267 million Americans have smartphones.

Director of Chico Public Works, Brendan Ottoboni, said they're looking to buy 200 more smart meters on top of the existing 300 in downtown.

The meters have the capability to read smartphones, but an app needs to be created to make this possible. People would download a free app and it would let you track and extend your parking time.

Action News Now spoke with people that said they're on board.

"I always forget to carry cash and now that that's changed it's really hard to keep it on me," Chico resident, Lois Suarez said. "I always have my phone on me, so I think it would be easier if I can pay through apple pay or something like that."

"I think being able to do it on your phone since everybody has one now it would be convenient for sure," said Stacy Graupmann, a woman who is in favor of having smartphone parking meters.

Public Works said they want to start working on the app this Spring. However, there's no word on when the app will come out. Public works are aware of other cities doing this, so they're hoping this app attracts more people to visit downtown. They added the city must first find a company that will develop the app.

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