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Cambridge launches parking payment app for Harvard Square

The mobile payment method lets drivers monitor how much time they have left on the meter.
The Passport app lets drivers pay for meters with their smartphones.City of Cambridge

The days of running to feed that parking meter you think is about to expire but aren't sure will soon be a thing of the past in Cambridge. Paying for parking has gone high-tech.

The city unveiled a new way for driversto pay parking meters in Harvard Square, one that doesn't involve feeding quarters or returning to your car to add another hour.

Cambridge is now running the Passport mobile parking app. The smartphone technology can be used at all metered spaces in Harvard Square. That includes the off-street parking lot between Mount Auburn and Bennett streets, according to the city.

The city is catching up to Boston, which has offered the ParkBoston app as a way for drivers to pay meters with their smartphones since January 2015.

Among the benefits, drivers can monitor their session to view remotely how much time they have left until the meter expires.

Joseph Barr, Cambridge’s director of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department, said the city was "working to provide a customer-friendly experience to our users, so we’re looking forward to introducing this new payment technology."

With Passport, "drivers will never have to walk back to the meter or risk a parking citation because they didn’t have enough quarters — everything can be managed easily and conveniently from their phones,” Barr said in a statement.

Users will be able to purchase parking time through Passport with a debit or credit card, extend their meter time (but only until the maximum time allowed, which is most commonly two hours) and also view all their parking history.

The app is only offered in Harvard Square right now, but the city plans to expand the app's reach to all of its 3,000 metered spots.

Drivers can download the PassportParking app for free from the App Store and Google Play, as well as manage their parking online at ppprk.com.