After a month of testing in Chicago's West Loop, the city is ready to roll out a mobile payment system for all of its parking meters.
Chicago introduced its ParkChicago system a month ago on some meters, allowing drivers to download the ParkChicago mobile application for Android and Apple smartphones. Crain's Chicago Business reports the citywide rollout is expected May 6.
Those using the application provide a mobile phone number, user profile details and a debit or credit card for payment. When the user's funds fall below $10, the app automatically replenishes the ParkChicago account with $20 from the designated payment card, according to an instructional video.
A user enters a zone number and the vehicle license plate in addition to the length of time expected at the parking space. Parking meter readers will know the parking spot has been paid for when the driver's license plate appears on their reader.
When 10 minutes are left on the parking time, the application alerts the driver, who can press "extend" on the app, and add more time as needed. ParkChicago charges a 35-cent "convenience fee" per transaction, unless the vehicle is parked for two or more hours.
City officials have said ParkChicago will work on converting all 36,000 city parking meters to the mobile pay system by the end of summer.
Chicago Parking Meters LLC provides the meters, and PassportParking LLC out of Charlotte, N.C., developed the mobile app.
Chicago Parking Meters hired LAZ Parking to operate and manage the parking system, the Chicago Tribune reports. The smartphone parking system will allow drivers who are on the move in the city to park in one location, and use unused time at a specific spot in a different zone at the same rate, the Tribune reports.