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Downtown Tucson parking garages accepting virtual payment, following parking meters

Downtown Tucson drivers can pay for more public parking without using a stack of quarters or a credit card, after the city introduced a payment app last week for municipal parking garages.

The free app, entervo Smart Pay USA, was introduced last week as a fourth option for paying for parking at the city's garages. The system is aimed at decreasing the time residents need to leave the five city-owned garages in the heart of Tucson.

The app "will allow parking customers at city of Tucson garages to enjoy the convenience of paying for parking with their smartphone and then be able to exit the garage quickly and go about their business," said Donovan Durband, head of Park Tucson, in a news release.

The facilities covered by the app are the Centro, Depot Plaza, Pennington Street, Library and City-State garages.

The introduction of the app comes seven years after the city rolled out the GoTucson parking app for its metered parking, Amanda Valenzuela, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation and Mobility, told the Sentinel via email,.

Smart Pay allows visitors who are leaving a garage to scan the traditional ticket they received upon entering. After that scan, the app will determine what's owed based upon the garage's fees and length of time spent there.

The virtual payment method will not replace the garage's existing payment systems, Valenzuela told the Sentinel. Previously drivers could pay directly at the exit gate or via a kiosk. These options will remain, in addition to the monthly parking permits, which gives individuals a card to enter and exit the Downtown garages.

"So it just provides another option for customers, whatever is most convenient to them, that way they can just use that as a faster option," Valenzuela said.

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Anyone struggling to navigate the app can call the Tucson Park office at 520-791-5071, she said. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m. An after-hours help number is posted in the garages.

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Department of Transportation and Mobility

The Pennington Street Garage is one of several downtown garages now accepting payment via an online app. The virtual payment option for the garages comes long after the city rolled out an app for its metered parking more than seven years ago.