Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  The Rochester City Council could award a contract at its Monday meeting that would bring a pay-by-phone service to users of parking meters as early as next month.

Staff reviewed four companies and is recommending the city award a 3-year contract to Parkmobile, whose app is already in use in Minneapolis and several other cities.

The company would charge 25-cents per transaction, which would be paid by the user. For now, staff is recommending the city pay the credit card fee, which is expected to range between 15 and 18 cents per transaction. Staff will view the program’s participation rate after 6 months to determine if users should also pay the credit card fee.

In Minneapolis, users are offered a preferred membership account that costs 99-cents per month and lowers the transaction fee to 15 cents, which would benefit frequent users. The Minneapolis app also allows a user to extend their time, as long as it isn't longer than what is allowed for a particular meter. An iPhone user can also receive alerts about  remaining time. The Minneapolis app can also help a user locate their parking space if they forget where they parked.

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