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Winnipeg Parking Authority
The Parking Store

New Block-by-Block Numbering for PayByPhone Mobile Parking Payment App

The Winnipeg Parking Authority is working with PayByPhone to replace the current four-digit paid parking zone numbering with a new six-digit numbering system unique to each block face, to be used in conjunction with the mobile parking payment application.

Changing to six-digit location numbers on every block face will provide more data on parking behaviors and inventory. This data will assist with planning, and could enable future customer service enhancements, such as providing real-time parking availability.

Starting at the end of June 2021, new signs will be installed to help users quickly identify their location number. A new mapping feature in the PayByPhone app will also allow customers to find the correct location number automatically using location services on their mobile device.  Drivers who use the app’s new built-in map feature to find their location number must remember to pay for their parking before leaving the block where they are parked. Otherwise, their phone may register the payment on another block with a different location number.

Pay by Phone block by block Numbering Sign

PayByPhone customers can continue to use their existing accounts and saved credit card information — the only change will be the location number entered upon payment. Cash and credit card payments will also still be accepted at paystations.

Payments using the current four-digit location numbers will be accepted until September 2021, as signage is transitioned.


What is changing?

The City is working with PayByPhone to update the numbering system that drivers use to pay for on-street parking. Instead of entering a four-digit location number that covers a large area, drivers will enter a six-digit number that is unique to the block face where they’ve decided to park. PayByPhone is adding a new mapping feature that will identify the appropriate location number using the location services feature on the user’s mobile device, and signs will be clearly posted on every block face so the numbers are easy to find.

Why is the City changing the block numbering system?

Currently, the City has just a few location numbers that cover large areas of the Downtown, Exchange District and West-End. This means that parking purchased through PayByPhone’s mobile app cannot be attributed to a specific block. By moving to a system where each block face has its own unique number, we will be able to collect much more detailed data on parking space occupancy. This will help to better, more informed decisions about parking in Winnipeg and may enable us to provide future service improvements, such as real-time parking availability shared through a mobile app.

What is a block face?

A block face is the frontage between two adjacent intersections, on the same side of a street. For example, the north side of Portage Avenue between Balmoral Street and Colony Street is a block face and will have its own unique six-digit location number for use with the PayByPhone app. The south side of Portage avenue is not part of the same block face and will have a different six-digit location number.

What happens if I use the number for the wrong block face? Will I get a ticket?

For a few weeks following the installation of the new PayByPhone signs, drivers who pay using the wrong location number will be given a warning and a brochure with information on the new numbering system. After that initial grace period has elapsed, if a driver accidentally pays for parking on a different block face than where the vehicle is parked, the vehicle may be ticketed. Only drivers who have paid with an incorrect location number will be eligible for a warning during this initial education period; drivers who fail to pay for parking entirely or who are parked longer than the time they have purchased will be ticketed as normal.

Parking time purchased on one block face may be used on another block face where the hourly price is the same or less, but drivers are still strongly encouraged to make sure they are using the correct block number posted on the signs and the paystation so they don’t risk getting a ticket for having made insufficient payment. If they are using the mobile payment app’s new mapping feature, drivers must ensure they are paying for parking on the block where their vehicle is parked, before crossing the street to a different block face.

What happens if I use the old four-digit zone number?

There will be a transition period while the new signs are being installed when both the four-digit location number and the new six-digit number will both be accepted.  However, this will last only a short time so drivers are encouraged to begin using the new location numbers as soon as signs are posted.

Will this affect how much I have to pay for parking?

No. The City is not changing the hourly price for on-street parking at this time.

Will this affect how I can pay for parking?

No. The basic functionality of the mobile parking payment app is not changing, and all of the other payment methods currently available will remain in place. These include cash, credit card, and scratch & park vouchers. The only difference is that drivers will need to enter a six-digit location number unique to the block face where they’ve parked instead of a four-digit location number that covers a larger area. To assist with this transition, PayByPhone is adding a new mapping feature that will identify the appropriate location number using the location services feature on the user’s mobile device, and signs will be clearly posted on every block face so the numbers are easy to find.

I’m used to the existing numbering system. How is this system better?

While there will be an adjustment required for existing PayByPhone customers, the improved parking data will help the City introduce changes to benefit parking customers in the long term, such as more accurate demand-based pricing and providing real-time information on parking availability.

To assist with the transition, a new mapping feature will be added to the PayByPhone app that will identify the appropriate location number using the location services feature on the user’s mobile device, and signs will be clearly posted on every block face so the numbers are easy to find.

Does this change mean the City is going to start charging for parking in locations where it’s currently free?

No. The City has no plans to expand the areas where payment is required for on-street parking at this time. The new block-by-block numbering will simply be replacing the existing paid parking location numbers.

How does dynamic pricing work? Does this mean that the City intends to increase rates at certain times in certain areas?

Parking demand can vary throughout the day, week, season, or year. Static parking prices (i.e. prices that stay the same) may contribute to occupancy rates being too high or too low at various points throughout the day. Dynamic pricing is a system in which parking rates can be changed at regular intervals (quarterly, monthly, daily, hourly, etc.) based on demand. Drivers pay a higher rate when there is a high demand for parking spaces, but a lower rate when not as many people want to park. Implementing a dynamic pricing system means that hourly rates in some areas, at some times, may increase, while others may decrease. Dynamic pricing is about fine-tuning the demand for parking so that just enough spaces are available in a given area.

The parking data collected through block-by-block numbering will help paint a clearer picture of on-street parking use in Winnipeg, but the City is not planning to implement dynamic pricing at this time. Any new pricing model would only be proposed after a rigorous analysis.

If I pay for a block of time and don’t use all of it, can I move my vehicle to another location without having to pay again immediately?

Yes, you will still be able to use time purchased at one on-street space in another on-street location, as long as the hourly price in the second space is less than or equal to the time you’ve paid for.

Last update: September 6, 2022

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