Paying for downtown Tampa street parking made easier with app from Parkmobile

City wants to appeal to tech-savvy smartphone user

TAMPA, Fla. - "This is a great day for parking in the City of Tampa," said Irvin Lee, the City of Tampa's Director of Public Works

The on-street parking pay stations that replaced parking meters often confuse many drivers.  Some complain that it's tricky to get the card-reader to work on the first try.

But a new app is here to simplify the process.

"Now, you can park without ever having to interact with the system.  Go on your way, and do everything through your smartphone," said Lee.

The app is from Parkmobile, the same company that operates the pay stations.  After setting up an account through Parkmobile's website, users simply use their smartphone to scan the space number and select the amount of time they want.

Jessica Evanson works a lot from home, but has to make trips to her office downtown.

"I'll have a meeting.  Sometimes it'll run a little late and I'll have to excuse myself and come down and put another hour in the meter.  It would be so awesome to have the app just to be able to do that from upstairs really quickly," Evanson explained.

Currently, one hour of parking is the smallest amount of time that can be bought using the app.  Industry experts hope that number will drop to as little as 15 minutes.  Andrew Boyce is already using it.

"I love that Tampa's actually doing it because it makes downtown more user friendly.  And hopefully, people come from the suburbs and come downtown more and make the city better," said Boyce.  

And with the new app, you won't need to hang on to the paper receipts from the pay stations.

Through September, the app is free.  After that, it costs .35 a transaction.

John Young of Tampa created an account using his phone while at the pay station on Tampa Street.

"If you're not too tech-savvy, it might be a little challenge at first.  But it seems pretty easy, hopefully everyone can catch on," Young said.

To learn more about the Parkmobile app and to create an account, go to  www.parkmobile.com .

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