Grand Rapids Partners with Flowbird to Expand City’s Mobility and Transportation
January 3rd, 2019
Improvement to Downtown Parking coming 2019
The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has partnered with Flowbird Group, a global supplier of urban mobility solutions, to undergo a large expansion of smart parking kiosks within the fast-growing community. Upon completion, the City will utilize over 700 Flowbird Strada Pay Stations integrated with mobile phone payment and enforcement solutions.
The three-year expansion comes after a successful upgrade to the City’s paid parking system. In 2016, Flowbird signed a contract with the City to provide 75 solar-powered Strada Pay Stations. This initial installation was part of a shift to Pay-by-Plate parking from single-space coin meters, allowing more vehicles to park and encouraging customer parking turnover.
The Flowbird Strada Pay Station features a customer-friendly color display interface that is solar-powered and functions through adverse weather conditions. The pay stations accept a wide range of payments, including coins, credit or debit cards, and the system integrates payments from the City’s mobile parking app. Each kiosk is connected to Flowbird’s back-office system, SmartFolio, a cloud-based data intelligence platform that provides secure and actionable information to City staff, such as metrics, data visualization, and automated reporting.
The Strada Pay Stations also allow for a flexible rate structure that can be changed remotely throughout the day by City staff, such as during special events and holidays.
“We were very happy with the initial installation by Flowbird in 2016,” said Josh Naramore, manager of the City’s Mobile GR and Parking Services Department. “Expanding our smart parking pay stations is a natural progression toward our goal of having a world-class transportation and mobility ecosystem.”
The installation also addresses parking congestion and on-street availability downtown and the outlying business districts. In areas where free parking has posed a problem for small business customer turnover, paid parking kiosks aid in opening up parking spots.
Since initial installation in 2016, the City of Grand Rapids has reduced its operational costs, meter maintenance, and impact on the environment.
“Grand Rapids is forward thinking and focused on technology,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America, “We are very proud that we have been selected to help them manage their impressive growth by implementing key smart city solutions.”
Currently, Flowbird supports over 40,000 parking pay stations for 600 customers throughout the United States and has deployed mobile parking applications for 80 cities and universities across the country. With over 700 pay stations, Grand Rapids will become one of Flowbird’s largest customers in the U.S.
The expansion is due to be complete by 2020.
Flowbird US Media Contact
Sean Renn – Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Passport launches Motu, a new
parking app for Grand Rapids
App makes parking easier, more convenient
Grand Rapids, Mich. (June 21, 2018) — Residents and visitors of Grand Rapids can take ahold of how they spend time around the city with a new on-street parking payment app, Motu. The app, developed by Passport, the global leader of mobile payments for parking and transit, provides an easy way to extend parking time. Inside the app, a few quick taps on the user’s smartphone screen can lengthen leisure time —up to two hours in most locations.
The Motu app is a change from Grand Rapids’ previous app provider, Parkmobile. In addition to paying for parking, the Motu app has a customized design for Grand Rapids and allows drivers to monitor their parking sessions, view payment history and receive email receipts. Drivers can even extend parking time at no additional cost.
“As a growing city, Grand Rapids is seeking to get ahead of its increasing population trends, the housing market and future mobility demands,” said Josh Naramore, manager of the City’s Mobile GR and Parking Services. “With the Motu app, the City can continue to support growth and activity, while staying true to its environmentally friendly initiatives.
“When you’re on the go as much as our community you want an app that can get you where you’re going quickly. Motu offers a type of convenience that appeals to both residents and visitors.”
Passport executive Tom Wiese said, “This partnership with the City of Grand Rapids is an important one to us. First, it shows the community that paying for parking doesn’t have to be a burdensome task. With the right app it can be effortless. Secondly, this expansion in Michigan continues to display the work we’ve done in the state and will continue to do as a parking payment provider, making parking in the City of Grand Rapids a breeze.”
Passport is the industry’s leading mobile technology solution specializing in enterprise business applications and payments for the public and private sectors. In Michigan, it is the No. 1 mobile pay provider with millions of transactions per year. The auto capital’s mobile pay parking app, ParkDetroit, is designed and powered by Passport. Other Passport-managed apps include Michigan State University’s SpotOn app and Ann Arbor’s ePark app. The University of Michigan of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan of Dearborn, and the cities Flint and St. Joseph, also use Passport’s PassportParking® app. The Motu app is free to download through the App Storeor Google Play. Users can also manage their parking at motu.ppprk.com.
wPassport transforms the way cities manage their operations. The fintech company’s mobile-first platform has been adopted by more than 450 cities, universities, and private operators around the world in cities including Chicago, Toronto, London, and Miami, across more than 5,000 locations. Passport’s product lines —– parking, transit and tolling payments, parking enforcement, and permit management —– enable organizations in the public and private sectors to streamline their operations, enhance customer service, and make data-driven decisions. Consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies and Best Places to Work in Charlotte, North Carolina, Passport has an ingrained practice of putting People First —– a guiding principle in its Culture.
Passport is backed by a group of investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital and Relevance Capital. Learn more, or get in touch with Passport at passportinc.com.