Sick of scrounging change for the parking meter, or having to remember to feed the meter or parking station? Then you will love the ‘pay by phone parking’ mobile parking meter app ParkMobile. The ParkMobile app is a mobile parking payment app that lets you pay for parking – and reload your meter – from your smartphone. And there are now ParkMobile zones throughout the country! (We have a list of ParkMobile zones.)
To get started, you will need to go to the ParkMobile website, and sign up. You can elect to sign up for the free membership, which includes a 35 cents per parking transaction fee, or the preferred membership, for 99 cents a month, which offers discounts on the transaction fee.
When you create your account, you will link a payment method. Payment methods that ParkMobile accepts include most major credit cards, and also Paypal.
You will also provide your license plate number. This is how parking attendants at ParkMobile Zone locations know that you have paid to park. They look up your license plate number, and the zone in which you parked, in the database, to see that you have paid to park there.
Note that you can add more than one vehicle to your ParkMobile account; it’s all done by license plate number and zone number.
Once you are all set up, with the app installed, it’s very simple to use the ParkMobile app.
Whenever you are parking in a parking location that accepts ParkMobile, the first thing you will do is look for the ParkMobile Zone number on one of the green stickers or signs that are provided at ParkMobile parking locations:
Now open the ParkMobile app, and click on the parking meter icon in the lower left:
Enter the ParkMobile parking zone number:
If the ParkMobile location also has space numbers, you will be asked to enter the space number on the next screen:
Now confirm your information:
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Next select the length of time you want to park at the location:
And, finally, confirm your information one last time, including your payment (note the transaction fee):
Once you have confirmed the parking transaction, and started the meter running (so to speak), the ParkMobile app helps you keep track of your parking time. Not only that, but you can extend the time (feed the meter) right from the app!
We have found that with locations which have a maximum time for which you can purchase parking, that while you can’t extend your parking session beyond the maximum time, you can simply create a whole new session once your previous session is expired (to which the app will alert you). Which means that you don’t have to leave your office, or your spot at the coffee shop, to feed your “meter”. Sweet!
ParkMobile has a lot of other features, such as allowing you to create a list of favorite parking zones from which you can select your zone rather than having to type it in each time, choosing for which events you get notifications (including when a parking session starts, a fifteen minute warning before it ends, and a notification the moment it ends), and you can add a payment method directly from the app.
For more information, check out ParkMobile at the ParkMobile website.
On a related note, we wondered whether the parking enforcement people would actually check, or just write us a ticket when they saw we had not fed the meter. It turns out that, at least in Boulder, the program is so new that the parking enforcement officer forgot to check the ParkMobile database, and, ironically, as we were writing this article, we were receiving a ticket.
A call to Boulder Parking Enforcement yielded an apology, and a voiding of the citation.
We then reached out to ParkMobile and suggested that they provide a sticker, or such, for people to put in their window if they were worried that parking enforcement officers in newly adopting markets might not think to check ParkMobile to see if they have paid. ParkMobile responded with this image, that you can print out and carry with you, and stick on your dashboard, just to be sure:
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