A Portland city worker installs a sign alerting people to the smartphone app that allows them to pay their parking meter using a mobile device. Credit: Taylor Cairns | CBS 13

Portland transportation officials say starting this weekend people in the city can use their mobile phones to pay for parking downtown.

“People can download the app Passport Parking which allows them to pay for parking in spots that they usually pay for with coins or credit card,” said Tom Jarvais, the Portland parking meter supervisor.

He said the app works by having users type in their parking spaces numbered location, and then adding their license plate number to it. He says users can also add time to their meter from their phone.

“I don’t think this will affect how many parking tickets we give out, there are still many people without smartphones,” he said with a laugh.

The new payment method will eventually be available throughout the whole city, but he says those who try to use it this weekend will have to be cautious.

“Monday morning I have a whole other crew coming in and we’re just going to [try and finish it]. We pretty much will be completely installed probably by mid-week,” he said.

He says people can still use coins and credit cards to pay for metered parking if they don’t have cell phones.

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