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Paid Parking Via Cellphone in Coral Gables

Parking_metersThe Miami Herald reports an innovative system that lets people pay for parking using cell phone text messaging.

The automated system allows drivers who subscribe to simply dial in from their cell phone, punch in the number assigned to their parking spot, and the required costs -- plus a 25-cent usage fee -- will be billed to their credit card. When leaving, subscribers call back and end the billing cycle.

It reportedly takes just six-and-a-half minutes to complete the signup process, which involves entering a credit card, e-mail, license plate and telephone number. A competing service is reportedly operating at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Now that Coral Gables has found a way to increase parking revenues via SMS, how long until they start accepting other types of city fees - such as tolls or public transportation fees - using the same method? To see what may lie in the future, one need look no further than London, which has combined real-time monitoring with SMS-based payments so as to be able to tax literally anything that moves.

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