Parking lot operator brings pay-by-phone technology to Philadelphia

Paying for parking in Philly? There’s now an app for that.

Parkway Corporation recently installed mobile payment technology in 11 of its Philadelphia parking lots. The parking company plans to expand the service to an additional nine or ten lots in the near future.

“We’ve used this in other cities that we operate in and it’s been working fine,” said Parkway President Rob Zuritsky. “So we’re integrating it into all of our Philadelphia operations.”

The app, called Parkmobile, is developed by an Atlanta-based company. It relies on basic information and a saved credit card. Perhaps its friendliest feature: a system for avoiding fees.

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“When it gets down to 15 minutes remaining, you’ll get a pop-up,” said Mark Hampton, Parkway’s director of operating revenue systems. “It’ll tell you that your session is about to expire and if you want to, remotely, you can start a new session. So you don’t have to come back and feed the meter.”

How many people are using the app? Parkway says it’s too early to tell in the Philadelphia market. According to Parkmobile, about 35 percent of people who can use the service ultimately do. Within the first year, that estimated adoption rate is 15 percent. 

Parking operators and municipalities team up with Parkmobile to provide the service.

But don’t expect the Philadelphia Parking Authority to adopt it anytime soon.

A PPA spokeswoman says the agency is considering some type of mobile payment system for on-street parking.

Still, she says it’s very early in the process, with no timetable or specifics to report.



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