Portland parking tickets go digital, smartphone app coming

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PORTLAND — Parking tickets entered the digital age Sept. 22 with the introduction of an electronic citation management program.

“City parking enforcement officers have the ability to efficiently issue citations using wireless hand-held devices and Bluetooth printers, rather than manually writing tickets,” city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said in a Sept. 21 press release.

The devices, provided by Passport, also eliminate the need to manually enter citations into the city database, Grondin said.

She said staff write about 120,000 citations annually, and the new devices will also allow uploading of pictures of violations, better monitoring of parking, and digital “chalking” that tracks how long vehicles are parked.

“With the implementation of Passport’s state-of-the-art citation management technology, we are able to ease the flow of information between our on-street enforcement officers and our parking administrators,” city Parking Manager John Peverada said in the press release.

Grondin said the city will also be launching a smartphone app that allows people to check the time they have left at parking meters, add time, and make payments from their handheld devices. The new program also allows citations to be paid online at www.portlandparkingtickets.com.

The city has been looking into a digital platform for handling citations for several years. In February 2016, 10 companies responded to a request for proposals to provide devices to 12 parking control officers. The RFP required devices that could handle as many as 100 citations per day.

The city allocated $70,000 for a conversion to digital in the fiscal year 2015 budget. The funding was held up as part of an overall spending freeze that year.

According to its website, Passport also provides parking citation management services for Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Austin, Texas.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.