Councilors Want to Use Smart Phones, Payment Kiosks to Pay Meters, Bills

Parking meters

The Boston City Council will be discussing whether to enable residents to use smart phones to pay parking meters or pay bills at payments kiosks throughout the city.

The two ideas are separate and were proposed by different councilors but fall under the same idea of using technology to make things easier for residents.

At the council meeting on Wednesday, March 6, City Council President Stephen Murphy filed for a hearing to discuss the feasibility of payment kiosks.

“Several other cities and towns do this. They have kiosks that are located in heavily populated and trafficked areas,” Murphy said. “It’s like a remote satellite station to pay a municipal bill. I’ve seen them at sports arenas, libraries, transit stations, and they get good use.”

“We should make it easier for people. The kiosk idea is one way that would help do this. I’m kind of ganging up on what others have done with other cities and towns on best practices. Most of our payments are done 9 to 5 in person,” he continued.

Also looking to make life a little easier for Boston residents is District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson, who supported and signed onto Murphy’s proposal on Wednesday.

At last week’s council meeting, Jackson proposed using smart phones to pay parking meters by tapping a sticker on the meter. Jackson said vehicle owners are alerted to their meter running out of time before it expires via their smart phone. Jackson’s proposal also includes MBTA properties.

On Wednesday, Jackson spoke about his proposal as well as Murphy’s.

“The people in Boston move and think fast, and as a government we have to be right there with them,” he said. “Boston is a high-tech city in a high-tech state. To keep up, we have to give people as many options to pay as possible. Parking meter smart phone applications are just one more way to move Boston into the 21st century.”

Both matters were referred to the Committee on Government Operations, and no dates have been set for the hearings.

What do you think of being able to pay Boston parking meters via smart phones? Or having payment kiosks to pay bills? Let us know in the comments.

SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates

South End Patch