Starting Thursday, driver in Boston who are lucky enough to score a public parking space will be able to easily feed the meter using a new smartphone technology, ParkBoston.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced during his State of the City speech Tuesday night that the city would implement the new system, which lets motorists pay for parking, receive reminders before their time expires, and extend their time without having to rush back to the meter.
“The ParkBoston app is one more way that we are using technology to make transportation easier and more convenient for people in Boston,” said Walsh. “Nobody likes digging around for quarters or getting a ticket for an expired meter. This innovation eases the frustration involved with parking and allows for future enhancements to the city’s parking system.”
Parking meters in an area of the Back Bay, bordered by Beacon Street to the north, Charles Street to the east, Boylston Street to the south and Dartmouth street to the west, will be the first to be programmed to accept payments by phone.
The remainder of Boston’s 8,000-metered parking spaces will be phased in over the coming months following this week’s launch.
New ParkBoston signs and parking meter decals are being applied to meters to make drivers aware of where the new service is in effect.
Once a parking space is located, a driver can access the ParkBoston app or mobile website, enter in the zone number on the ParkBoston decal on the nearby meter, and input their license plate number and the desired length of time they wish to stay. Users are still subject to the maximum amount of time the meter allows, and parking at most city meters is for a maximum of two hours, with some meters allowing for a maximum of four hours.
ParkBoston users will receive a notification before their parking session expires and have the option to extend their time remotely.
When using the app the meter will not change to reflect a driver’s paid time, however, Boston’s Parking Enforcement Officers will see the payment on their handheld computers.
To determine whether a driver paid using ParkBoston, the Parking Enforcement Officers will enter the license plate number into their handheld devices.
City officials said it is still the driver’s responsibility to check for posted signage regarding parking restrictions that could result in a parking ticket.
The fee for metered parking in Boston is $1.25 per hour. A $0.15 cent convenience fee will be applied for each mobile phone pay parking transaction. Customers will be informed of the fee before confirming payment.
The Boston Transportation Department and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics developed ParkBoston in collaboration with Charlotte, NC-based PassportParking, Inc.
Smart phone users can create an account by downloading the app for free from the iPhone App Store and the Google Play Store or by visiting park.boston.gov.
To learn more, visit park.boston.gov or view the how-to video at bit.ly/parkboston