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Joliet updates downtown, commuter parking

JOLIET – The city will test an electronic parking kiosk that could someday replace downtown coin meters and implement an app allowing pay-by-phone in the commuter lots.

Both programs will roll out in the next month, Joliet Parking Superintendent Thomas Schwerha said.

The electronic parking kiosk will be installed on the one block stretch of Van Buren Street between Chicago and Scott streets outside the Rialto Square Theatre.

“They’re the same type of machines you see in Chicago,” Schwerha told to Joliet City Council Public Service Committee, which approved both parking programs on Monday.

Schwerha said the kiosk would be installed for a 90-day test period to see how well it’s used.

The machine will take cash, debit cards and credit cards but not coins. The streetside meters throughout downtown take coins but nothing else.

How well the machine is used may determine whether more of them are installed downtown, Joliet Roadways Engineer Mike Eulitz said.

“Hopefully, the reaction is positive because I think this is the way we want to go,” Eulitz told the committee.

Total Parking Solutions will provide the kiosk at no cost to the city for the trial period.

Schwerha did not have a date for the implementation of the kiosk or phone app, but said both would likely be available within a month.

Pay by phone

The city will contract with Passport Parking Inc. for the pay-by-phone app, which will be made available for parking at the commuter lots.

“I think people running late for the train will really like this option,” Scwerha said.

Commuters now need to pay at pay stations where lines can form at times, he said. Commuters who use the app can pay after they board the train.

They will pay more 50 cents extra to use the app, he said.

“Almost all the suburbs around Chicago are using this particular app for all their Metra parking,” Schwerha said.

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