The City of Boston develops ParkBoston, an application that allows drivers to pay for on-street parking with their phones

January 14, 2015

The ParkBoston service lets drivers pay for on-street parking using any mobile phone, get alerts before meters expire and extend time remotely

The City of Boston is implementing a new technology that will allow drivers to pay for parking without the hassle of feeding meters. Using the new ParkBoston app, drivers in Boston can easily pay for parking, receive reminders before their session expires and extend their session without having to hurry back to the meter. Drivers can take advantage of the new ParkBoston service beginning January 2015.

“The ParkBoston app is one more way that we are using technology to make transportation easier and more convenient for people in Boston,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. 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 the City of Boston’s 8,000 metered parking spaces will be quickly phased in following the initial launch.

New decals will be applied to parking meters to make drivers aware that 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 displayed on the ParkBoston decal on the meter where they’ve parked, their license plate number and the length of time they wish to stay. Although when using this app the meter itself will not change to reflect your paid time, Boston’s Parking Enforcement Officers will be able to see your payment on their handheld computers. ParkBoston users also receive a notification before their parking session expires and have the option to extend by adding more time through their phone, but only up to the maximum amount of time the meter allows. Parking at the vast majority of the city’s meters is for a maximum of two hours, with some meters allowing for a maximum of four hours.

Boston Parking Enforcement Officers will enter license plate numbers into their handheld devices to determine whether a driver paid using ParkBoston. However, it is still the driver’s responsibility to check for posted signage regarding parking restrictions that could result in a parking ticket. This includes when parking meters are not in effect for the purpose of street cleaning, overnight resident parking, commercial vehicle loading, valet zone, construction or special events.

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 clearly informed of the convenience fee before confirming payment.

The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Boston Transportation Department developed ParkBoston in collaboration with Charlotte, NC-based PassportParking, Inc. Passport is an industry leader in building customized parking and transit platforms for municipalities, including Chicago, IL and Victoria, British Columbia.

Smart phone users can create an account by visiting iPhone and Android users can also download the free ParkBoston mobile app from the App Store or at the Google Play Store.

To learn more, visit