- Kelsey Hawes
As promised, the City of Boise unveiled its new program, which allows motorists to find available parking, pay parking meters and receive a text message when a meter is running out of time. Soon after city officials announced late Dec. 11 that its mobile application-based payment system, developed by Parkmobile, was available, citizens began downloading the app.
It has been four years since the city of Boise began working on a plan to make parking meters smarter, which included installing solar-powered meters that accept payment via credit card or smartphone apps, and pavement-embedded sensors that monitor whether a car is occupying a particular parking space. There have been more than a few roadblocks along the way, though, not least of which were lawsuits and counter-lawsuits in 2014 between the city and the Ada County Highway District, the latter which has authority over Boise streets. The city also debated whether it should increase parking rates and extend metered hours into evenings and Saturdays. The Boise City Council shelved those proposals in July 2013.
Now in downtown Boise, drivers can use the Parkmobile payment system to pay for metered street parking and add payment for an additional hour of parking—the app is available on iPhone, Android, Windows 7 and Blackberry smartphones. Registration for the Parkmobile system is free at parkmobile.com and, once registered, users can access the app, the internet or a toll-free number to pay for parking. App users can receive alerts and reminders 15 minutes prior to expiration of a parking session.