Paying for parking on mobile devices may soon get easier in Lake Geneva.
City officials are considering an agreement with Passport App to make their parking app services available in the city.
If approved, residents and visitors would have the option of paying for parking with one of two mobile apps.
During the July 9 Public Works Committee meeting, aldermen approved a motion for City Attorney Dan Draper to review a possible agreement with Passport App.
The city currently has a similar agreement with ParkMobile for parking app service.
Parking Manager Sylvia Martinez-Mullally said Passport App would offer a similar service as ParkMobile, in which people would download their app on their phones to pay for parking.
“It’s the same thing,” Martinez-Mullally said. “It’s kind of like Coke and Pepsi.”
Martinez-Mullally said Passport App has agreements with other Wisconsin and Illinois communities including Racine, LaCrosse, Appleton, Green Bay and Chicago. She said customers in those communities could use the company’s app when they visit Lake Geneva.
“So when they come to Lake Geneva, if they already have Passport, they don’t have to download ParkMobile,” Martinez-Mullally said. “It’s ready to go.”
Martinez-Mullally said, as part of the agreement, there would be no cost to the city, and Passport App would send the city a monthly payment for the amount of money that is collected in Lake Geneva.
“We would get the $1 or $2 parking fees as normal,” Martinez-Mullally said.
Alderman Richard Hedlund said he is in favor of the agreement as long as there is no cost to the city.
“I don’t want to see any costs,” Hedlund said. “I want to see them write a check.”
Alderwoman Cindy Flower said she also is in favor of the proposal but asked how the city would let people know that the service is available in Lake Geneva.
“The key is to let them know we have it,” Flower said.
Martinez-Mullally said the company would supply the city with stickers and signs that could be posted on parking kiosks and meters and city posts, and along city blocks.
“They put up the signs that they can,” Public Works Director Tom Earle said. “The signs that go up higher on the poles, we will put up.”
Martinez-Mullally said the amount of revenue the city has received from parking meters has decreased by 7 percent, so far this year, and the amount of revenue that city has received from parking apps has increased by about 62 percent. She said the demographic that seems to be using parking apps the most are females between the ages of 18 and 24.
“We’re always going to have discussions on what the future is,” Martinez-Mullally said. “That’s absolutely the future.”
Flower said she often uses an app to pay for parking.
“Apparently, I’m an anomaly,” Flower said.