The Bethlehem Parking Authority tonight at events on both sides of the Lehigh River will unveil a new method of paying for parking by cell phone.
ParkNOW! allows drivers to initiate and pay for a parking session by using a cell phone to call the number located on the meter, street, or lot sign.
If you own an iPhone or Android, you will be able to use the ParkNOW! app to enter the space number manually or by scanning a QR code on the parking meter or sign post. The code identifies the space number, which makes it not only more convenient to park but eliminates the risk of human error with manual entry. The ParkNOW! app is available for free at iTunes and Android Market.
The ParkNOW! Website explains how to use the system.
The existing methods of paying at parking meters in Bethlehem – coins, tokens, cash keys and credit cards – will remain, giving drivers in the city five different methods of paying for parking.
To promote the new method of paying for parking, the Bethlehem Parking Authority will be handing free parking vouchers to those attending the Bethlehem Rooftop Beach Party tonight at the North Street Parking Deck, an event hosted by the Downtown Bethlehem Association.
Representatives of ParkNOW! and the parking authority will also be on hand to show people how the new system works, said Samantha Schwartz, DBA manager.
In South Bethlehem, where First Friday will take place tonight, meter greeters will be handing out more vouchers. Plus, parking at metered spaces in SouthSide tonight will be free – but only for people who use the new system. Otherwise, meters will have to be fed until 9 p.m.
Free parking for ParkNOW! users will become a regular feature of First Fridays, said Tom Hartley, the director of the Bethlehem Parking Authority.