New Parking App, User-Friendly Signs, Sidewalk Decals and a "Street Team" Ready to Help You Park Downtown

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 11:41 PMUpdated: Feb 1, 2019 2:59 PM
On Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) will launch a new mobile app, Passport Parking, for downtown parkers, along with improved parking signs, sidewalk decals, printed info cards and a street team ready to assist drivers at DIB-managed parking spaces. They are all part of a long list of customer-driven improvements that began last fall when the DIB moved away from paying an out-of-state company to manage its parking system.
 
Through its partnership with Passport Parking—a well-established company employed by cities all over the world—DIB will offer the app to downtown visitors who park in DIB-managed parking spots including those inside the Jefferson St. Garage. Integrating with the DIB’s existing software, Passport Parking’s dashboard will provide DIB parking ambassadors and management with real-time access to data—critical information when customers need assistance. The new app will cut costs for downtown parkers as well: the price to start a parking session decreases from 32 cents to 18 cents. And, unlike the previous app, there is no repeat charge when a parking session is extended. The free Passport Parking app is available on the Apple and GooglePlay stores.
 
LOOK FOR THE TEAL SIGNS FOR DIB-MANAGED PARKING
 
The DIB manages only a portion of the public parking spaces located downtown: the rest are controlled by organizations and private business owners who determine their own rates and enforcement policies, which can vary widely from those of the DIB. Nearly one-third of all DIB-managed spaces are free, with a two-hour limit imposed to ensure fair and equitable availability. The cost to park downtown in the remaining DIB-managed parking spaces will not change: 50 cents per hour for on-street spaces and inside the North Palafox and Tarragona St. parking lots, and $1 for three hours inside the Jefferson St. Garage, and all DIB parking is free on Sundays*. To help parkers easily identify DIB parking, the organization is re-branding its signage in a consistent color, teal blue.
*Excluding special event pricing.
 
NO MORE DASHBOARD RECEIPTS—BUT HAVE YOUR TAG NUMBER HANDY
 
With or without using the Passport Parking app, it’s no longer necessary for visitors to return to their vehicles to put a receipt on the dashboard. However, when paying to park from a pay station, they will need their tag number. The DIB recommends taking a phone picture of the tag or writing the number down somewhere handy. A DIB “parking street team” will be giving out wallet cards for this purpose on Friday and at its next parking info workshop on Feb. 19th at 8am at Jewelers Trade Shop. *When using the Passport Parking app, visitors key in their tag number just once, when they set up their profile.
 
As downtown Pensacola continues to thrive and prosper, identifying solutions for increased parking demands will continue. Lissa Dees, DIB executive director, said that feedback and suggestions from downtown merchants and property owners, DIB board and parking committee members, parking ambassadors and citizens are driving the evolution of the parking that DIB manages. “When a visitor parks at a teal DIB parking sign, they should expect the very best parking experience possible,” she said, “And we are committed to delivering it.” Dees said it is the DIB’s mission to provide the lowest parking prices, offer multiple payment options and a convenient app, maintain a policy against booting and towing and support Pensacola by hiring local and keeping parking dollars in the community. “After all,” she said, “We live and work here every day, too.”
 
DIB PARKING: WHAT IS CHANGING
 
A  new app, Passport Parking, will provide a convenient new way for visitors to pay to park in DIB-managed parking lots, on-street parking spaces and inside the Jefferson St. Garage. Pay machines and meters may still be used, if desired.
 
The Passport Parking app costs 18 cents per session, plus the price of parking. There is no charge to extend a session.
 
Users can download the app from Google or Apple stores, set up their profile with tag number and conveniently pay for parking whenever they are downtown.
 
The Premium Parking app will no longer work at DIB-managed parking spaces.
 
Downtown parkers no longer need to display a receipt on their dashboard.
 
Parkers will need to enter their tag number when they pay for parking at a pay machine.
 
DIB parking will be designated by teal parking signs with zone numbers posted.
 
A new web page with a parking directory, including handicapped parking spaces, may be found at downtownpensacola.com/parking.
 
A special “parking street team” will be out on Friday and next week to offer assistance and hand out parking info cards.
 
DIB PARKING: THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW
 
The DIB manages only a portion of the public parking available in downtown Pensacola. The rest is controlled by organizations and private businesses that establish their own prices and rules.
 
When you park in a DIB parking spot under a teal sign, your parking dollars stay in the community. Parking dollars have recently paid for safer LED lighting inside the Jefferson St. Garage, stairwell and elevator cleaning and maintenance, handicapped striping, “smart” meters, directional signs and other improvements.
 
The DIB never boots and never tows.
 
DIB parking costs less than any other parking option downtown, and one third of DIB’s parking spaces are free, 2-hour parking, all day every day.
 
More information about DIB parking can be found at www.downtownpensacola.com/parking.