The city's Procurement Office is recommending council ink a deal with PassportParking, Inc., to bring its existing mobile app technology to Portland, as it has in cities like Asheville, North Carolina, and Salt Lake City. The deal could be largely free for the city, the Office of Management and Finance (OMF) says, but it'll cost users
an unspecified a ten-cent "convenience fee" to pay for parking with their phones.
"The estimated contract not-to-exceed amount provided represents the per transaction convenience fee cost from PassportParking, Inc., multiplied by the estimated number of transactions," reads a letter to council from Chief Procurement Office Christine Moody. "Customers utilizing the service will pay a per transaction convenience fee to the City. The City in turn will pay PassportParking, Inc.."
Because of this, the city contends the mobile parking app—which could be available in early 2017—will be "revenue neutral" (though there will be costs for making signs and setting the system up).
Moody characterizes the city's confidence in the financials as "moderate." It's not completely clear to me what happens if estimates of how many people use the app wind up being far too optimistic. Update, 4:43 pm: Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesperson Dylan Rivera tells me Passport is the only entity at risk if that happens. The city won't have to pay to make up the shortfall.
Original post: If the predictions are correct, it's far less than officials thought a mobile pay system would cost. Last summer, City Council authorized [PDF] officials to negotiate a deal for up to $6.2 million for a five-year mobile parking pay contract. The city says it got four "responsive" proposals when it issued a request for proposals, and that Passport won out.
Anyway, Asheville seems to think it's okay.