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New tech at downtown garage helps City of Bozeman track parking violations

Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 16:52:02-04

New technology at the Bridger downtown parking garage will make it easier for the city to hand out tickets.

The City of Bozeman now can cite vehicles that have failed to pay the parking fee at the garage, which is a dollar every hour after the 2-hour free parking window.

This was a part of a project that cost around $500,000 that the city started 2 years ago to use license reading technology for a more efficient way to pay for parking.

“Identify vehicles that have over stayed their time limits and those citations are then mailed to residents that are associated with the Montana department of motor vehicles.” Bozeman Economic Development Director Brit Fontenot said.

The process to do this is very easy. After you park, make sure you have your license plate memorized, come to one of the machines and enter your license plate number. There’s even an option to track your parking time with your phone.

“That’s where you get to make a decision to utilize the 2-hour free portion of our parking program or choose to add an hour or more to your parking time.” Fontenot said.

This is a simple solution to avoid the 20-dollar parking violation. Parking is also a system between the public, private, street, and garage parking system, a system that the city hopes to improve starting with technology.

“We’re working on an app that would allow our customers to know how many spaces are available in our garage facilities. When they come they’re likely to find that space they're looking for or in our surface lot,” Fontenot said.

The city is also working on ways to better manage street parking just outside of downtown Bozeman.