12 Responds: Why am I receiving parking tickets in Providence even though I already paid?

12 Responds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Heide Brunette regularly uses the “Passport” app on her phone to pay for parking in Providence.

At first, she thought it was convenient since she works in the city and typically parks on Canal Street.

But over the past few months, she’s received eight parking tickets while simultaneously getting billed through the app.

“I was so frustrated,” Brunette said, adding that all of the parking tickets were issued during the times she paid for parking.

Brunette said last week alone, she received a parking ticket three days in a row.

Captain Luis San Lucas, the commanding office for the Providence Police Department’s Traffic Bureau, tells 12 News they’re aware of the situation.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints on Canal Street where people are indicating they paid,” San Lucas said.

San Lucas said the problem mostly stems from information that wasn’t entered properly into the app.

“The handhelds do not accept dashes, so if a profile as a dash between the letters and the numbers on the plate, then it’s not going to show up,” he explained.

San Lucas said the issue may have been caused by a recent upgrade to those handheld devices, which officers use to verify paid parking.

“After the 4G [upgrade], we did see some issues where the Passport app was not showing up on the handhelds,” San Lucas explained. “The handheld program on the 4G did not have something that we had on the other handhelds, and they will fix that. They will add a patch.”

San Lucas said since it is a new program, there may be a few more issues that arise over time. But he said the department will work swiftly to address them when they come up.

San Lucas said the Passport app plans on adding an alert that notifies users not to use a dash when inputting their license plate number.

“It’s not a connectivity problem, since they checked,” he said. “Ninety-percent of the time it’s human error, either the user or parking enforcement officer.”

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