DETROIT (WWJ) — The city of Detroit is gearing up to roll out a new high-tech parking system, which integrates new technology allowing drivers to pay using their car’s license plate.
Detroit Chief Operations Officer Gary Brown explained to City Council on Monday that the city’s old system was in dire need of update.
“The benefit is that they are going to work,” Brown said. “We have a large percentage of the old pay stations that are out-of-order and we know that we got it right, that we got a good pay station that’s going to be working 99 percent of the time.”
Instead of paying for a certain parking spot, drivers will be able to enter their license plate number into the kiosk and be allowed to park anywhere within a given parking zone.
The system is scheduled to debut in April in the Livernois and Seven Mile area. Drivers will be able to pay using credit or debit cards, coins, or by using a soon-to-be-released mobile app.
Members of the City Council quizzed Brown about the possibility of laying off workers because of the new system.
“What I’d like to see right off the bat is that we have more parking ambassadors,” Brown said. “I’d like to see them in our garages. [They would be] very recognizable as a municipal parking employee so that we can really provide service that we don’t provide today.”
The “ambassadors” would also patrol the streets, helping drivers use the new system. Brown said that he does not anticipate any lay-offs.
“When we roll this particular product out, we’re going to have ambassadors out on the street who will be helping, block-by-block,” Brown said. “As the new machines are going in, there will be ambassadors who will be utilized in that way. They will also be going in and talking to the business owners.”