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Parking Meter Apps And The Potential Of Smart Parking

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Looking for parking can be especially frustrating in areas with metered parking. Drivers go through the stress of finding a spot to win the privilege of paying for it. Once, this meant hoping you had enough quarters to pay for adequate time, or even sneaking out to feed the machine when you exceeded the maximum time, hoping a meter attendant didn’t get wise. As a great source of revenue for cities (New York City’s meters generated $228 million in fiscal year 2018) it seems paid street parking is here to stay. Thankfully, innovations in smart parking are helping to take the aggravation out of this civic contribution.

Revolutionizing Metered Parking with Mobile Apps

Apps like Spacer have changed meter parking by allowing drivers to simply pay by phone. This saves people from having to scrounge up quarters and lets them pay to park in a matter of seconds. Widespread adoption of parking apps shows just how ready the public is to dispense with the aggravation of coin-fed parking meters. Hovering at 5% or 10% adoption a few years ago, cities are now seeing 70% to 80% of their parking transactions done through mobile apps. As with navigation apps like Waze, consumers want their digital devices to take the irritation out of a previously challenging aspect of driving.

Enhanced Features of Modern City Parking Apps

But city parking apps do more than just help users feed the meter. Developers are releasing feature-rich programs that include ways to improve the parking experience. New parking apps show landmarks like coffee shops or specific stores by the user’s spot to help easily find their car. Feeding the meter becomes a thing of the past as users receive an alert when their time is about to run out so they can automatically add more time. Even better, these apps reduce the chance of overpaying, as drivers can end their billed parking session whenever they like, rather than pay in advance for an estimated period of time.

Unleashing the Potential of Smart Parking Systems

Of course, systems like these are only scratching the surface of smart parking’s potential. All of these features could be integrated into a single app to centralize and streamline the parking experience. A comprehensive parking app could include public meter payments, private lot payments, and reservations not just to gated public lots but to privately owned parking structures, including those of property owners who sign up to monetize their unused spaces. These apps could even let users reserve street parking in advance, either down to the specific spot or within range of their destination. Smart parking can make the driving experience much easier, so it’s no surprise consumers are embracing these possibilities in a huge way.

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