Keep the change for now

THERE’S no need to throw away your parking change just yet.

Meters and traditional parking payments will remain in Freo while the city transitions to a cheaper and greener system, says council business director Glen Dougall.

Council staff mooted a reduction in the number of meters around the city while recently awarding the tender for an integrated parking system to Database Consultants Australia, sparking concerns.

“The pay-by-phone app will simply be one other option for people to use to pay for parking, along with paying by cash or card,” Mr Dougall said.

“Although the pay-by-phone system will have many advantages for both motorists and the city, the city has no intention to phase out traditional parking meters.

• The Chook asked Joy Turner and Michael Martin what they thought about the future of Freo’s parking system; did online apps work for them? Photos by Wade Zaglas

“The city has allocated $45,000 in the recent budget to replace and rebrand the signs in our carparks, which will include promotion of the new parking app.”

The Herald asked several locals and tourists what they thought about the change to the new system:

• Peter Crooskey, 41, gave the pay-by-phone app a clear thumbs up. “It’s a good idea,” he said. “It will get rid of waste like paper stubs.”

• Joy Turner, 74, also praised the idea but highlighted some concerns. ”It would be a bloody good system because people don’t have to worry about change,” she said.  “The only downside would be the elderly. There should a dual system for a few years as a changeover.”

• Michael Martin, 42, was more ambivalent. “I’m not very tech-savvy and if I got to a machine and had to download an app it would annoy me,” he said. ”If you knew about it it’d be OK. Younger people will like it but older people wouldn’t. You would have to market it.”

• Lilly, 24, was more critical. “It’s bloody awful,” she said. “It will cut out a huge number of people coming to Fremantle, especially the elderly.”

by WADE ZAGLAS

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