Pay-by-phone technology commences trial run
Pango Mobile Parking, a pay-by-smartphone provider, was launched this past May in Scranton for a 90-day trial period, Mayor Christopher Doherty told the Gazette.
An international company started in Israel, Pango entered the US market two years ago, serving that market out of Baltimore, Maryland. With operations worldwide, including in countries such as Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and France, Pango delivers a smart and easy way to “pay-by-smartphone” for parking to individuals, businesses, and fleet owners, as touted by their website.
Pango is the first such company to do business in Pennsylvania, according to Pango CEO Dani Shavit. “It’s a win-win-win, for the consumer, merchants, and city,” Shavit told the Gazette in a recent telephone interview. A cloud-based technology, Pango has no direct connection to the meters themselves, but relies on the parking consumer to notify the service of their arrival in a Pango-identified parking zone as well as their departure via the mobile application or other communication technologies. The new mobile parking system is now fully operational in Scranton, according to Shavit.
One can sign up to use Pango by downloading its free mobile app, or by texting or calling the company directly. All information about the use of the new approach to metered parking may be found by visiting the venture’s website at www.mypango.com. Charges to the consumer are identical to the meter rates, and, significantly, Pango does offer opt-in upgrades for a recurring monthly fee.
Paying by coin is still an option where the physical meters are present.
Pango is offering 10 free hours of parking for anyone signing up in the month of July.
“Currently, the system is free to the city during the 90-day trial period and upon expiration of the trial, the contract will be placed for bid,” Mayor Doherty told the Gazette. However, after receiving conflicting information from Pango CEO Dani Shavit, the Gazette has some unanswered questions as of our July issue printing deadline, including, has a contract or letter of agreement already been signed by the city with Pango? The WBIG is also questioning whether Pango is currently retaining a percentage of parking revenues and if they are, what is that percentage?
A recent two-year contract was signed by the Pittsburgh suburb of Latrobe. According to published reports, Pango retains as compensation 17 percent of the parking revenue it collects for Latrobe.
According to the Pango website, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell serves on the Pango Shyyny USA, LLC, advisory board, where he plans to assist Pango in reaching new markets and municipalities in the US. This could explain why Pennsylvania cities are among the first in the whole of the United States to adopt the new technology. “I found out that Pango is an excellent system for municipalities to increase revenue and manage the parking assets more effectively and efficiently,” said Rendell.
“Ed Rendell brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and pre-existing relationships that will help us greatly as we enter the US market,” said Shavit. “Having been so deeply involved in US politics since 1978, first as the district attorney of Philadelphia, then as mayor of Philadelphia and finally as governor of Pennsylvania, we couldn’t have hand-picked a better advisor for our operation.