The days of digging for parking money coins or forgetting to re-fill the meter may be dwindling in downtown Birmingham since the installation of pay-by-phone meters.
Parkmobile lets drivers use its app to set up an account that lets their phone communicate payment to the meter, sends reminders of when time is up, and offers other services.
There are 1,238 meters in downtown Birmingham and John Heiney, executive director of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District
, says "I think visitors to Birmingham are going to embrace this new parking option. Today's shoppers are looking for the convenience that comes from dialing on their cell phone, or using a smart phone app."
Downtown Birmingham visitors still have the option of using one of the five parking decks that offer two hours free parking - $1 after that - where customers can pay using debit or credit cards.
meters are becoming a more common site across the country. Birmingham becomes the sixth city in Michigan after Ferndale, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Petoskey, and South Haven.
“It is our hope that the ease of parking will encourage people to stop in Birmingham. Whether it’s to shop, dine or play, a quick visit to Birmingham just got easier,” Birmingham City Manager Robert Bruner says in a statement announcing the launch of the meters last week.
Parkmobile's applications are available for the iPhone, Android, Windows 7, and Blackberry smartphones. To use the new Parkmobile system, customers can register for free at www.parkmobile.com. Once registered, they can use a mobile app, the internet, QR code, or call toll free, 1-800-280- 4146 to pay for parking. After setting up an account, customers can immediately pay by mobile and also choose whether to receive text message alerts and reminders.
Source: John Heiney, executive director, Birmingham Principal Shopping District
Writer: Kim North Shine