Tauranga motorists will be able to pay for parking via a smartphone app from next month, a move that could save residents more than half a million dollars in a year.
Tauranga City Council has revealed they are preparing to launch the app in October in an effort to make life easier for local residents.
Transport manager Martin Parkes said the app would also enable people to save the 50c transaction fee charged when using credit cards by paying for their parking online.
''Depending on how people choose to top up their accounts they will be able to reduce the number of times they incur the transaction fee,'' he said.
''The app is a great product that will let you top up your paid parking remotely without needing to return to your car or display a ticket.''
Information supplied to New Zealand First under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act show a total of $1,576,093 was made by Tauranga City Council in parking revenue in the 2015/16 financial year.
Of this, $558,127 was transaction fees.
Mr Parkes said credit card transaction fees were set by the banks, and the fees went straight to the banks ''not to council''.
New Zealand First spokesman for commerce Fletcher Tabuteau said it was time to look at all card fees and surcharges.
"While 50 cents here and 50 cents there may not sound very much, it adds up to a large sum of money and is symptomatic of a more serious issue,'' he said.
"It is how the public is being conditioned to accept surcharges on electronic payments. With the huge growth in card payments for parking, there has also been an exponential growth in transaction fees collected by councils - at least $1.7m last year.''
What you need to know about parking in the City centre
- There are two parking zones priced at $2 and $1 per hour. The central zone (green) is $2 per hour and the outer zone (yellow) is $1 per hour.
- If you are parking for less than 10 minutes you don't need to pay.
- There is no charge for parking buildings and off-street car parks on Saturdays.
Source - Tauranga City Council