Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that within the first 36 hours of its launch, nearly 1,000 drivers signed up for ParkChicago, a new app that gives drivers in Chicago the option to pay for metered street parking with a mobile phone. The pay-by-cell parking option is part of the agreement Mayor Emanuel negotiated with the parking meter company to save taxpayers $1 billion and provide free Sunday parking in our neighborhoods.
“Drivers in the City of Chicago are already taking advantage of the convenience the new pay-by-cell plan offers,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Without having to use cash, debit, or credit cards, residents and visitors can save valuable time by using this smartphone application and not having to return to the pay box. From free Sunday parking to this new payment option, we have made the parking meter deal more manageable for Chicago’s residents.”
The ParkChicago website also had 3,500 people download the app within the first 36 hours of its launch. The pilot program recently launched in a limited area in the West Loop.
This new pay-by-cell technology will offer a number of timesaving conveniences:
• Drivers will no longer have to make payments at the meter boxes if they choose. However, Meter boxes will remain in place throughout the City, providing motorists with multiple options to pay.
• Printed receipts will no longer need to be placed on dashboards.
• Drivers will no longer have to return to their car to increase their time allotment. The app will send users text message reminders 10 minutes prior to the expiration of their parking session, and allow them to pay for more time remotely.
The new pay-by-cell option is part of Mayor Emanuel’s renegotiated 75-year parking meter contract between the City and Chicago Parking Meters. LLC. The contract also includes free Sunday parking in neighborhoods. The City is expected to save approximately $1 billion over the life of the parking meter concession by the reduction of an annual payment connected with changes to the City's parking meter system.
iPhone and Android users can download the free ParkChicago mobile app at the App Store or at Google Play. Cell phone users can create an account by visiting www.ParkChicago.com.