Montreal

Pay-by-plate parking coming to Montreal with new system upgrade

Montreal is investing $6 million in upgrading its parking pay stations to allow for more flexibility in the way people pay and to offer incentives for eco-friendly commuting.

Parking pay stations to include alpha-numeric keypads, tap-and-pay credit card readers

Parking meters are getting an upgrade in Montreal. The new version will have tap-and-pay credit card readers and eventually, drivers will pay by licence plate number rather than by the number of their parking spot. (Simon-Marc Charron/Radio-Canada)

Montreal is investing $6 million in upgrading its parking pay stations to allow for more flexibility in the way people pay and to offer incentives for eco-friendly commuting.

Drivers will eventually be able to pay based on their licence plate number.

A pay-by-plate system is already in operation in some Quebec municipalities, including in Westmount and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Right now, motorists in Montreal must enter their parking spot numbers, and if they move their vehicle, they lose any time left on the meter. With the pay-by-plate system, if they move their vehicle, any time left on the meter at the original parking spot can be applied to the new spot.

And that's not all.

The technology makes it possible for the city to offer those who use carpooling apps to park at a reduced rate if there's more than one person in the vehicle.

"As we seek to reduce the footprint of solo cars in the city, there are still great opportunities," said Coun. Éric Alan Caldwell, the executive committee member in charge of urban planning and mobility.

However, Caldwell said, the city is still fine-tuning the technology, so it's not yet known when those options will be available.

Meter upgrade first

The first step will be this autumn's upgrade to the aging parking terminals, said city spokesperson Audrey Gauthier.

The work includes replacing the servers for Stationnement de Montréal's software platform, updating existing stations and installing new pay stations.

The upgrade will include alpha-numeric keypads and a tap-and-pay credit card reader, but people will still be able to pay with the Montreal parking authority's smartphone app or with cash.

For now, motorists will still be expected to enter the parking spot number and pay per spot, rather than by plate.

With files from Radio-Canada's Benoît Chapdelaine

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