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Chicago's Mobile Parking App Has Some Kinks To Work Out

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 7, 2014 3:30PM


If you received a parking ticket yet used the city’s pay-by-cell parking app to pay for or add time to your parking space, you aren’t alone. The Park Chicago mobile parking app issued 317 expired-meter violations to motorists who still had time on the meter since the app began to expand citywide two months ago.

This was the same app the city declared a resounding success after a one-month trial period in the spring.

The city has issued nearly 82,000 tickets to motorists since the app became available, so it’s a small overall number. Yet Chicago Parking Meters spokesman Scott Burnham wouldn’t tell The Expired Meter’s Mike Brockway how many times the Park Chicago app was used to pay parking meters. One user, Brett Gordon, received a ticket while he still had time on the meter and said he’s hesitant to use the app again. "Since then I've just gotten paper receipts from the meter,” he told Brockway.

A spokesman for the city Finance Department said there are problems with the time it takes the app to update the database used to keep track of parking meter payments. Currently that lag time is 15 minutes which is more than enough time for a motorist to receive a ticket even though he or she is paid in full, like Eric B. and Rakim.

The city is working with Chicago Parking Meters LLC to fix the issue and in the meantime has tossed out all parking tickets issued to users of the mobile app, which may be another reason why Burnham and CPM is reticent to let anyone know how many were issued overall.

Motorists who use the mobile app and believe they were ticketed by mistake can call 877-242-7901 to report the problem.