Thousands use app for parking in New Haven

Parking meter. (File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Parking in New Haven has never been easy, but for more than a year, paying for on-street parking has gotten easier. A smartphone app called ParkMobile is really catching on.

“We’ve been the most rapidly adopted city in the country for ParkMobile,” said New Haven Transportation Director Doug Hausladen. “Last week we hit over 1,000 transactions.”

1,000 transaction per day from people happy to stop fumbling with coins and pay for parking meters on their phones.

“You know, I work right over here and our customers have complained in the past,” said Barbara Diaz of the Wireless Wiz store on Chapel St. “They come out, they get a ticket, they’re not happy about it.”

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Customers who bring broken phones into Wireless Wiz now even get the parking app on their loaner phones.

“If we can’t do the repair right on sight, we’ll order the part and they get their loaner,” said Diaz “So they even get to use their phone to use the meter as well.”

The most useful feature of the app may be for people who park at a meter in downtown New Haven to go to dinner, and then linger over dessert and coffee. When time is about to expire on your meter, the app will actually send you an alert to tell you, and right there at the table, without getting up, you can push a button and add more time.

It worked for Denise Hibson of Cheshire. “Received my alarm on my email and just did a quick little update and it was great,” she said

ParkMobile works on every New Haven meter, and the instructions are on every meter. The city may be making less money on parking tickets, but that just means more people are paying what they’re supposed to.

“You know, we’re trying to make downtown much more friendly and people are responding very well to this mobile app,” said Hausladen. “Giving people more options to pay really incentives them to pay and they’re doing it.”

Each time you use the app, you do pay a fee of around 30 cents. That way the app doesn’t cost the city any money.

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