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Pennsylvania Town Switches to Virtual Parking Permits

The Pottsville Parking Authority will issue virtual parking permits in 2024 for eight municipal lots across the city. The permits will be available for purchase starting in mid-December.

The Pottsville, Pa., Parking Authority is using new license plate reader technology to check for parking scofflaws.

In conjunction with the devices, the authority will offer virtual parking permits for 2024, replacing the vinyl ones permit holders now hang from their rearview mirrors.

Ron Koscil, one of three parking enforcement officers, was walking city streets Thursday using one of two handheld scanners purchased by the authority about two months ago.

No matter the technology, "Nobody bothers you until you give them a ticket," he said.

The authority board voted earlier this year to purchase the scanners, at $2,500 each, in conjunction with the switch to virtual permits available for eight municipal lots: Mahantongo Deck, Capital Deck, John Potts, Ramada, Union Station, Alvernia, Garfield and McGeever.

Ian Lipton, executive director, said the new scanners will cut down on errors by eliminating the need for enforcement officers to type information as they did with the old devices.

"Anytime there is a human being there is a chance of someone entering something incorrectly," Lipton said.

For the municipal lots, the city will require drivers to pull in, not back in, so license plates can more easily be scanned.

The Process

Whether a vehicle is parked along a street or in a lot, an enforcement officer first checks if the meter has money in it or, through scanning the vehicle's license plate, if the motorist has paid through the ParkMobile app, which has been available in the city since 2019.

The device first shows the plate number and asks the officer to confirm the number is correct. It then displays the words "meter" or "scofflaw." If the parker did not plug the meter, a green checkmark appears beside "scofflaw."

Koscil said non-payments are in the minority.

"Ninety percent of the people pay on the app or (at) the meter," he said.

Those who receive tickets have 30 days to pay from the date of issuance until it is forwarded to district court. The fine is $15 for overtime parking.

The virtual permits for the municipal lots will be available for purchase starting in mid-December, and go into effect Jan. 2.

Also, residential virtual permits can be purchased starting in June for the July 1 residential year.

Users can create virtual permits on the authority's Citizen's Connect Portal website starting in December. After establishing an account and username, permits can be created, edited and renewed, including updating license plates and vehicle information.

Motorists will also have to contend with the cost of permits increasing for all but the Ramada lot, for which the price went down. Prices at the other lots increased between $12 and $15 a year.

For more information, contact the authority at 401 N. Centre St., at 570-628-9184 or at


As has been the case for the past several years, the authority wants to be "as customer friendly as can be" with parking concerns, Lipton said.

For example, if someone is doing a quick drop off or pick up at a business, they can skip any payment and turn on their emergency "four-way" lights for up to 15 minutes to avoid a ticket.

"We do that as an accommodation for everyone," Lipton said.

(c)2023 the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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