Washington, DC - Customers at two busy transit stations in the Washington, DC area will soon be able to stop searching for quarters under the floor mats of their cars to pay for parking. Starting today, Metro customers at the Rockville and Fort Totten stations will be able to pay for metered parking using their mobile phones…even on classic coin-style meters.
Working with Streetline, Inc., a provider of smart parking solutions, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) has retrofitted meters in the Rockville and Fort Totten stations with sensors from Streetline. Unlike other pay by phone systems, when a customer makes a mobile payment, the now "smart" coin meters will show the amount paid - within several seconds - providing peace of mind to customers that their mobile payment has been received and registered on the meter.
When Metro customers pull into an available space, they will find a decal on each meter showing the unique Parkmobile "zone" and meter number. Customers simply enter the number in the app and select the time they wish to purchase. The time purchased will be charged to the credit card registered by the user and will be reflected on the parking meter. If time runs out, they can extend their session using their phone from wherever they are (within the posted time limits). Customers who don't have smartphones can also add time via phone or text.
Parkmobile is compatible with Parker™ by Streetline, a smart parking app available for iPhone and Android providing another option for cash-free payments while also offering added features to ease the parking experience. With Parker, Metro riders can check real-time metered parking availability at the Fort Totten and Rockville Kiss and Ride lots, the Rockville surface metered lot, and the Vienna South daily surface parking lot, as well as find general information about all Metro lots and garages. Web pages for each lot (http://bit.ly/metrorockville and http://bit.ly/metrototten) also provide information on occupancy and show when each lot typically fills up.
Parker continuously tracks the user's position and orientation on the smartphone or tablet screen (similar to an in-car navigation system), shows a timer to help keep track of how much time is left on the meter, and helps the user find their parking spot when they return to the lot.
With the retrofit, Metro will also benefit from an improved audit trail, faster meter repairs, and lower collections costs.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metro has introduced mobile payments in two stations to test customer interest and satisfaction over the next several months. Parkmobile already provides pay-by-phone service at roughly 17,000 on-street metered spaces in the District of Columbia.
Parker by Streetline is available free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Parkmobile is available free for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7.
About Streetline, Inc.
Streetline's mission is to make smart cities a reality through the use of sensor-enabled mobile and web applications. As the leading global provider of smart parking solutions for cities, airports, universities, private garages, and consumers, Streetline's pioneering technology connects citizens with critical information to improve the way they live and work, while making cities more efficient and lessening their environmental impact.
Experts estimate that 30 percent of urban traffic is caused by motorists looking for parking. Additionally, vehicle emissions resulting from drivers looking for parking are so closely linked that a year-long study found that drivers in a 15 block district in Los Angeles drove in excess of 950,000 miles, produced 730 tons of carbon dioxide and used 47,000 gallons of gas searching for parking. [*Based on 2007 study by Professor Donald Shoup, University of California, Los Angeles]
Streetline is a privately held company headquartered in Foster City, Calif. with smart parking deployments across the U.S. including California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington, DC. The company was recently named one of Fast Company's 10 Most Innovative Companies in Transportation, as well as IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.