The City of Newcastle is trialling reduced cost of on-street parking for users of pay-by-phone “Easypark” parking app.
From 1 January, the City will automatically apply a 25 per cent discount on the hourly parking rate on a six-month trial basis for drivers who use the parking app.
The EasyPark app allows drivers to pay only for the time they use and remotely top-up payments after receiving SMS notifications 15 minutes before their meter expires.
The EasyPark cell phone application (program) can be downloaded via the Apple app store or at Google Play for Android users, by searching EasyPark.
Only download the application displaying a logo of a white ‘e’ set in a pink square. Visit the EasyPark website to begin your installation.
Motorists can also call EasyPark on 1300 734 070 for assistance with use of the app.
As always, people who use their mobile (cell) phones to make any sort of payments – and especially for phone banking – should avoid using the phone for other “apps,” any of which can compromise the security of smart devices. The cost of phones nowadays allows a separate and more secure device to be used for payments and financial services.
All phones used for important and vital services should also download security “apps” from reputable vendors, such as Sophos, etc.
Other Parking Changes
In other parking changes, the trial of a morning and afternoon rate on all 1P and 2P parking meters will finish at the end of December.
A flat rate of $4/hr between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday will return in the New Year.
The move follows feedback that variable pricing was confusing for drivers and led to unnecessary parking fines.
Although a flat rate of $4 an hour will appear on meters in 1P and 2P zones, motorists paying via the EasyPark app will only be charged $3/ hr.
Under the changes:
- The discounted tariffs of $2.50/hr from 9am-11am and $3/hr from 2pm-5pm will no longer exist. EasyPark users will be eligible for an hourly rate of $3/hr all day.
- The price of all-day (8P) parking will also drop by $1 through EasyPark, reducing the price of the all-day No.2 carpark to just $5.
- The 25 per cent discount for drivers using the EasyPark app will also apply to 4P zones.
- The Saturday hourly rate will increase from $2.50 to $3 if using a meter but decrease 25c/hr when paid with EasyPark.
- The hourly rate for 4P and 8P zones will also be brought into line with 1P and 2P zones.
We will also absorb the 10 per cent surcharge that drivers currently have to pay on top of the hourly rate when using the parking app,” said City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath.
With light rail construction behind us and the city set for an exciting 2019, we know that parking ease is important to many people who shop in the CBD. That’s why we’re incentivising use of the app to make parking cheaper and easier.
The release of the ‘Find and Park’ add-on has been planned for almost 12 months but we opted to wait and learn from the roll out of the technology in Sweden earlier this year.
By July next year, the app will have the ability to point out to drivers the most likely place to find a park, based on sophisticated parking algorithms."
As part of the EasyPark revolution, the free 15-minute paper ticket will also go digital.
The ticket-based system has been increasingly abused since it was introduced in 2015 by motorists, putting machines out of order," Mr Bath said. "When drivers come across a faulty parking meter, they often they incorrectly assume they can’t park in the area for fear of receiving a ticket.
And with 88 per cent of adult Australians now owning a smart phone, the time is right to move to digital."