Parkmobile lands in Birmingham on Tuesday, and Birmingham shoppers and diners now have more options when it comes to paying the meter.
with Parkmobile USA in early July, giving Birmingham drivers the option to pay for their parking meters either by calling a phone number or by using their smartphone.
"Parkmobile is very excited to launch our mobile payment parking service in Birmingham," Parkmobile's CEO Albert Bogaard said in a recent statement. "With this technology, customers no longer have to search for change at their destination. Our mobile payment service is an example of another technology that can make our lives easier and more efficient."
How does Parkmobile work?
- First, register at us.parkmobile.com, by calling 800-280-4146 or by downloading the mobile smartphone app.
- Apps are available for the following smartphones: iPhones (as well as iPod Touch and the iPad), Android, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry.
- When you want to park, pull up to a parking spot with the Parkmobile green sticker on the parking meter.
- From there, you can either pull up the app or call the toll-free number, find your specific zone and parking space (listed on the Parkmobile sticker), and then select however long you want to stay.
- Know you'll soon be running out of time on your parking meter? No problem: Parkmobile allows users to add more time to their meter straight from their phones.
Birmingham is the sixth Michigan city to offer Parkmobile, alongside Ferndale, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Petoskey and South Haven. The company, which launched in Europe in 1999, services more than 100 cities nationwide.
To use Parkmobile, drivers will be charged an additional fee on top of the standard price for Birmingham parking meters, which range from 50 cents to $1 per hour. Under the Parkmobile system, drivers can still pay for their meters with coins.
Parkmobile will offer a standard fee of 43 cents per transaction, as well as a preferred customer fee of 35 cents per transaction with a $1.75 monthly membership fee.
A Mobile Wallet payment option is expected to be available in September, providing parkers and merchants the opportunity to create a "virtual account" in various amounts, minimizing individual transaction fees.
"It is our hope that the ease of parking will encourage people to stop in Birmingham," City Manager Bob Bruner said. "Whether it's to shop, dine or play, a quick visit to Birmingham just got easier."
To encourage sign-ups, Parkmobile will be giving away a year of free metered parking in Birmingham. To enter, drivers need only to register with and use Parkmobile between Tuesday and Dec. 15, 2012.
Users will then be entered in a random drawing to win free metered parking throughout the city — including at all street meters and at metered spaces in parking lots No. 6, 7 and 9 — throughout 2013. The free parking grand prize is non-transferrable and does not provide for unlimited stay at parking meters — maximum time limits will be enforced.