November 25, 2014 – Spokane, Washington
Add paying for parking to the long list of things you can do with your smartphone as the City of Spokane rolled out its quick pay parking app Friday.
Plugging the meter may not be fun, but Spokane is at least looking to make it more convenient with the quick pay app.
Steven Neumiller has a car, but prefers two wheeled transit because he says parking downtown can be a real pain.
“Traffic, parking, to me, with a vehicle, is a headache, and I would rather ride by bike than deal with that,” he said.
But the city hopes to change that with an easy to use, quick pay app.
“I think it’s handy to be able to use a smart phone for a number of things and to be able to make a payment on a meter would be great with that,” Neumiller said.
You download it just like any other app from the iTunes store or Android marketplace and after giving a credit card number and your vehicle information, you’re ready to go. From there you can scan any meter setup for the program, choose the amount of time you want, and even have a receipt emailed to you.
“There’s a nice feature on it that when you’ve used the maximum amount of time in that stall, you get a message that says your time’s expiring. Asks if you want to extend for 15 minutes. You get one 15 minute extension you can do right from your phone,” city spokesperson Brian Coddington said.
For now, only 41 meters near city hall can use the feature, but the city plans to expand the program soon.
“Eventually the goal is to have them working all city-wide, at all 3,000 meters. We’ve got to do a little bit of testing still to make sure that works, but we’re confident that’s going to work and we’ll get them rolled out in next few months, probably by the springtime,” Coddington said.
It all sounds great, but Neumiller says he’ll keep paying the old fashioned way.
“I tend to use cash when I do use the meters. I’m glad there’s still a cash option,” he said.
One feature of the app still in the works is the ability to see open parking spots anywhere there’s meters. The city says that option will be coming soon, but some have raised concerns that several cars could quickly descend on the same spot, causing safety issues.