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Download this app and skip the walk from your car to that downtown parking kiosk
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Download this app and skip the walk from your car to that downtown parking kiosk

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A sign showing downtown visitors another way to pay for parking stands along College Street in downtown Auburn on Thursday.

Auburn residents and visitors can now pay for parking on their phones after the city partnered with ParkMobile to offer contactless payment for all surface parking downtown, the city announced Tuesday.

While drivers still have the option to pay for parking using kiosks placed throughout downtown, they can now also download and use the ParkMobile app on iPhones, Androids or through a mobile web browser to pay.

Within the app, drivers can enter the zone number posted on signs near their parking spot, enter their parking space number, select how long they wish to park there and press “Start Parking” to begin their parking session.

“We’ve been working with [ParkMobile] for a while … and most everybody is carrying some sort of phone that connects to the internet, so instead of having to walk to a kiosk, if you have the ParkMobile app you can put your space in and pay for your parking right from your phone,” Auburn City Manager Megan McGowen Crouch said at Tuesday’s city council meeting. “The kiosks are challenging with cash and other things they do, so we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to park in downtown Auburn.”

The city manager said signs have been placed throughout downtown with QR codes that will access the ParkMobile app, which is free to download. Parkers will also have to pay a $0.35 fee to the app when parking.

“It’s been well-received, and I can’t say I’m totally surprised,” Crouch said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised about how much attention it’s gotten. … We do have to charge a fee on this because ParkMobile charges a fee per transaction, so that’s carried on to the user so we’re not dipping into tax dollars to pay for that, but people are gladly paying for that convenience.”

Parking in the newly constructed Wright Street parking deck is an exception to the 1,300 parking spaces downtown that will allow use of the app, and drivers will continue to have to pay at kiosks inside the deck or at the exit gate, though a statement from the city said it hopes to offer mobile payment solutions for those parking spaces in the future.

The White House on Thursday defended its treatment of Haitian migrants on the southern border as the Biden administration’s special envoy to the country resigned, protesting large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants to their homeland.

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