New App Lets Chicago Drivers Pay Parking Meter with Credit Card
Drivers in Chicago may soon have a new way to pay at the parking meter. Thanks to the free ParkChicago app, these drivers can use their mobile phones to pay for their parking spaces by credit card.
The app is surprisingly convenient, but it does take a few steps to get started. Users must enter the meter’s zone number from the sign on the street and then enter their payment information and license plate information. That data will be saved for subsequent use.
When the parking meter has less than 10 minutes left, it sends an alert to the phone used to make the payment. In that way, a person can either add more money to the meter or rush back to the parking spot to avoid getting a ticket. That’s right–you can add money to the meter without having to physically go to it.
There is a $0.35 convenience fee for people using the app less than two hours. This money goes toward the app developers and the credit card processing fees. After two hours, the fee is waived completely. Users with similar parking apps in Madison, Wisconsin and San Francisco, California pay an average of $0.45 per transaction.
The program launched last week in a small portion of Chicago, but it is expected to expand throughout the city’s 36,000 meters.