St. Petersburg's parking manager Monday acknowledged a peculiar situation:
"It looks like our error," Evan Mory told FOX 13 News, conceding one user of the city's parking meter app was wrongfully ticketed for overtime parking more than once. "We do have two (unjustified citations) for one person at least, if not three, and that is a little excessive."
The driver who voiced her complaint to FOX 13 News said she has received at least three, and possibly four, parking tickets after using the smart phone app instead of coins.
"I started the app at 12:20 p.m. on the 30th," she said, showing a printout of her receipt from the parking app vendor. The she presented her citation.
"My ticket that I got was at 12:33 p.m. so 13 minutes after I activated the app," she said.
She will need the receipt and the ticket when she goes to the city's parking enforcement office to get out of the $25 fine.
"It's just frustrating that you have to go out of your way to do that when you've done something to make it more simple," she said.
Mory said more than 50,000 smart phone users have now downloaded the app, which is used in the downtown area more than 600 times a day.
The city waives the fines "30 to 40 times a week," Mory said, usually because a user entered the wrong parking zone. The parking manager claimed instances of an enforcement officer making a mistake are rare.
In any case, the same receipt and citation information is required.
"Did they pay to park at that time, in that zone?" Mory queried. "If the answer's yes, then we made a mistake, we take it back. If they paid to park in the wrong zone, we still take it back, and we ask them to try to be careful in the future."
The parking manager did not see any reason to revisit the parking payment app.
"I think with 500 transactions a day with a handful of voids a day, most of which are just somebody just putting in the wrong zone, isn't too bad," Mory said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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