The parking authority’s Go502 app will link to TARC’s existing mobile app. Eventually, the two entities plan to merge the two apps. | Photo by Melissa Chipman

This post has been updated.

The Parking Authority of River City is gearing up to launch a mobile application “designed to help people move around the city whether it’s by TARC, by car, by walking, by biking,” the parking authority’s director Tiffany Smith told members of Louisville Metro Council’s Public Works, Parks, Sustainability and Transportation committee.

The app called Go502, which is a partnership with private business Riverside Parking, will show users walking and bike routes and the location of bike sharing racks and event parking, she said. It also will allow users to pay for metered parking, parking at surface lots operated by Riverside and parking citations through the app using a credit or debit card.

Go502 will replace the Passport app, which only allows users to pay to park in a metered space.

“People have found Passport, just the name to be a little confusing, and we wanted to clear that up, and we also wanted the ability to offer more,” Smith told Insider in a phone interview. She said “the whole intent” of the new app is to promote all the different ways to get around the city and make it easier for people to bike, ride the bus and find available parking.

The new app is expected to launch the last week in March. It will still be run by Passport, the company that also manages the city’s existing app.

To start, the application will simply link to TARC’s existing app, but Smith told the council committee they hoped to merge the two at some point and also allow people to pay for TARC rides via the app.

“Eventually, we hope to have a full integration,” Smith said. “We anticipate this to be an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with TARC.”

TARC executive director Barry Barker added that TARC hopes to implement a tap card payment system in the future and has spoken with Smith about locating kiosks in PARC garages that will allow people to recharge their cards.

“As the whole transit system gets more multimodal, a cooperation between all of us will be more critical,” Barker said.

Barker and Smith spoke to the council committee after it was requested that the two entities look at ways they work together to save money and improve service in Louisville.

People regularly complain about a lack of parking and Louisville’s poor transit system, said Councilman Brandon Coan, D-8, adding that he would like to see a more robust analysis in the future that could range from simply sharing office supplies to a full merger.

“Where along that scale can we see the most benefit?” he said.

Councilwoman and committee chair Cindi Fowler, D-14, said she still had hopes of light rail in Louisville.

“We have got to do a better job,” she said. Transportation is “what moves cities. That is what brings economic development. I still would love to see light rail from E-town to downtown on the L&N line.”

Barker replied: “All it takes is money.”

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