Mobile Parking Payments Coming to Chicago (March 11, 2014)
Many Chicago drivers soon won’t have to dig under the seat for spare change to feed the meter. The city has announced a new initiative to launch a mobile payment system for parking, set for a pilot run in the downtown area this spring, with a rollout throughout Chicago to follow. Available for Android and iOS smartphones, the system will enable drivers to pay with a payment card via app, without having to visit a meter box or display a paper receipt on their dashboards. Users will receive a text alert 10 minutes before their allotted time is up, and have the option to pay for more time directly on the app, without having to return to their car.
The pay-by-cell option was part of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s renegotiated 75-year parking meter contract between the City and Chicago Parking Meters, which was approved by the city council last year.
Chicago has been among the most active U.S. cities in integrating emerging payment technologies into its transportation infrastructure. Since last September, the Ventra system has been enabling rail and bus riders to pay fares with a contactless payment card. In January, Ventra—a joint venture between Cubic Transportation Systems, MasterCard and Money Network, a First Data company—said it was testing a mobile-based NFC ticketing option as well.