Omaha's parking division is working on upgrades that will enable drivers use smartphones to pay for parking in garages and even stake out spots for major events.
The division is planning for $3.5 million in projects and technology upgrades for next year, city parking manager Ken Smith told the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/2nCRJ9C ). The upgrades will include restoration and maintenance of parking facilities.
Smith said the funds acquired from the city's parking garages will be used to fund the project.
"The money we're making, we're reinvesting it back into the system," he said.
Thirty percent of the funding will be put toward technology upgrades to provide drivers with new ways to find and pay for parking, such as doing both on smartphones. The division is also working to add the option of reserving parking for events on the Park Omaha app.
Upgrades to software technology will give the division an idea of how its facilities are being used.
Private parking providers also will have the opportunity to use the new parking features.
Smith said division staff will begin the process of replacing controlling parking garage payments this month.
Most of Omaha's garages are marketed toward monthly users, with rates starting at $50. Omaha garages that offer hourly rates are typically $1 an hour.
The city has 4,199 parking spaces in seven parking garages.