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Pay-By-Phone Parking in DC


DonRocks
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Will the transaction fee kill the interest in the program? The five cent tax on bags in the district has changed behavior dramatically.

At $2 an hour, it should lessen the interest; not necessarily kill it (parking is tax deductible for many if they have a receipt to show for it). The bag tax seems more of a "reminder" that you really didn't need that bag anyway.

It's amazing how many restaurants have lost money because I didn't have any quarters on me.

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I used the new Parkmobile system last night for the first time - downloaded the app on my iPhone, registered in about ten minutes, paid for my parking space. Parking fee $3.70 for 1:51, transaction cost .32, total cost $4.02. Despite being in an area where heavy tickets are given, I had none (for once) when I returned to my car. It's not necessary to put anything in your windshield, and it sends you an emailed transaction record (which I suppose you can use in case of dispute).

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I used the new Parkmobile system last night for the first time - downloaded the app on my iPhone, registered in about ten minutes, paid for my parking space. Parking fee $3.70 for 1:51, transaction cost .32, total cost $4.02. Despite being in an area where heavy tickets are given, I had none (for once) when I returned to my car. It's not necessary to put anything in your windshield, and it sends you an emailed transaction record (which I suppose you can use in case of dispute).

Wow!

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I want to chime in and say what a huge fan I still am of the Parkmobile system. It has worked efficiently and without failure for me. Once you have it on your iPhone, parking takes about 60 seconds, and once you have the zone entered, you don't even have to stick around to do it. You get warning messages, options to extend from a distance (without leaving the restaurant), and a paper trail in case there's a problem (which there has never been). Well done, DC government.

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I've been using ParkMobile and the other pay-by-phone systems in our area a lot since first introduced. Love 'em for all the reasons posted. Very easy and convenient.

The one thing I'd really like DC to do is what Montgomery County does with its Parknow! system used in different parts of the US. This is the one all over Bethesda and elsewhere in MoCo. With that system, you can get a refund for time unused simply by "stopping" the meter upon return to your car. With DC, you have to remember to extend as needed but, if you end up overestimating, you're doing your part to close DC's growing deficit...or at least buy some more of those nifty SUVs. :D

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I've been using ParkMobile and the other pay-by-phone systems in our area a lot since first introduced. Love 'em for all the reasons posted. Very easy and convenient.

The one thing I'd really like DC to do is what Montgomery County does with its Parknow! system used in different parts of the US. This is the one all over Bethesda and elsewhere in MoCo. With that system, you can get a refund for time unused simply by "stopping" the meter upon return to your car. With DC, you have to remember to extend as needed but, if you end up overestimating, you're doing your part to close DC's growing deficit...or at least buy some more of those nifty SUVs. :D

Strategy in DC is to underpay, and extend when you get the warning text message; strategy in Bethesda is to overpay, and REMEMBER to cancel when you get back. Discipline and vigilance will help in both, but especially in Bethesda because the onus is on you to remember to cancel.

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I want to chime in and say what a huge fan I still am of the Parkmobile system. It has worked efficiently and without failure for me. Once you have it on your iPhone, parking takes about 60 seconds, and once you have the zone entered, you don't even have to stick around to do it. You get warning messages, options to extend from a distance (without leaving the restaurant), and a paper trail in case there's a problem (which there has never been). Well done, DC government.

Less than 12 hours later, I found a hitch in the system. Parked on 19th and K in a 2 hour space, and in a hurry for an appointment, I found out while trying to use Parkmobile that I'm only allowed to pay for 30 minutes. So I have to keep starting new sessions every 30 minutes despite all signs saying 2 hours. Two problems: each time, I get hit with an additional 30-cent charge, but more importantly, I'm about to head into a meeting that will last for more than 30 minutes, so I'll be at risk for a ticket.

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I love ParkMobile, and have only gotten one incorrect ticket (appealed online, and won).

However, on Thursday night, I parked in South Dupont at 6:33, and paid until 8:33.

I returned to my car at 8:35, and had received a ticket at 8:34. The motherfucking nematode gentleman who issued the ticket was walking one car in front of mine when I arrived.

Random bad luck, or was he camping there and waiting?

The Palm was lovely.

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Camping. I would guess that ParkMobile sends the city lists of which cars are about to expire.

So what you're saying is that this little "convenience" is essentially telegraphing to parking personnel that "Hi there, I'll be ready for my ticket in 15 minutes?"

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So what you're saying is that this little "convenience" is essentially telegraphing to parking personnel that "Hi there, I'll be ready for my ticket in 15 minutes?"

It's all perspective, the service also alerts you to when it is going to expire so that you can extend too. That feature has certainly helped me.

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It's all perspective, the service also alerts you to when it is going to expire so that you can extend too. That feature has certainly helped me.

I agree, and have benefitted from that too (although each separate transaction has a 30-cent service charge); this time, I was planning on being back in time but we got waylaid by a panhandler juuussst long enough where it might have cost me 25 bucks. In this digital world, one minute may be legally correct, but it seems harsh to me. Ironically, when I pulled up (right at 6:33), there was loads of free parking right across the street in a loading zone (a loading zone until 6:30), and I could have stayed there all night for free had I noticed it.

Still, overall I'm quite happy with Parkmobile; with the additional speed cameras on their way, however, driving in DC is becoming too pricey for me - one way to keep traffic off the streets, I guess. Even if someone tries in good faith to abide by the laws, it's difficult not to get nailed several times a year. Red light cameras? I say: put 'em at every single intersection and double the fines. Running a red light is ten times worse than going 45 in a 35 downhill on an open road, not to mention that it's a deliberate act every single time (with the exception of an accidental blockage of a busy intersection which contains its own social punishment by getting honked and screamed at, justifiably, by every driver within a 50-foot radius).

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Parkmobile provides a service for which I shouldn't be willing to pay 32 cents, but I am. I believe this is called in "market language" a "spread."

That said, I'd love for them to be able to tell me what spaces "turn off" at 6:30pm versus 10pm.

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Sort of true - actually the taxes went up, so they were forced to raise their fee accordingly. Still, it went from $0.30 to $0.45, so only went up $0.15 per transaction.

They also introduced an account-based system as an alternative, where you keep a balance in a Parkmobile account and debit from there rather than running a transaction every time you park. Only $0.20 transaction fee if you use that system.

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Now much less appealing.

I also run into problems at meters that are a 2 hour limit until 6:30 and then unlimited after 6:30. The system never wants to let me park past 6:30 pm.

really? just last night I was able to do this. It was around 6:00 when I called Park Mobile; the system said "the maximum duration in this zone is 4 hours 30 minutes"; I was able to choose the maximum by requesting 5 hours (it didn't accept 270 minutes), at which point it repeated the maximum duration and asked if I would just like to park for that.

In what part of town are you having this problem?

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Sort of true - actually the taxes went up, so they were forced to raise their fee accordingly. Still, it went from $0.30 to $0.45, so only went up $0.15 per transaction.

They also introduced an account-based system as an alternative, where you keep a balance in a Parkmobile account and debit from there rather than running a transaction every time you park. Only $0.20 transaction fee if you use that system.

The last time I used it the fee was 32 cents.

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really? just last night I was able to do this. It was around 6:00 when I called Park Mobile; the system said "the maximum duration in this zone is 4 hours 30 minutes"; I was able to choose the maximum by requesting 5 hours (it didn't accept 270 minutes), at which point it repeated the maximum duration and asked if I would just like to park for that.

In what part of town are you having this problem?

I had an issue in front of Againn last week and I know I had it somewhere else but now I can't remember where. We just did Againn for the hour allowed and rain out in the rain with change for the last 20 minutes we needed to finish dessert.

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I had an issue in front of Againn last week and I know I had it somewhere else but now I can't remember where. We just did Againn for the hour allowed and rain out in the rain with change for the last 20 minutes we needed to finish dessert.

I think I've had this happen to me before once or twice.

There are also certain 2-hour meters where you can keep extending the session beyond 2 hours, and others where you can't (these areas should be marked "2 Hour Parking Limit in Zone X.") For example, I got a ticket in Penn Quarter on Opening Day when I parked on 7th Street and walked to Nationals Stadium. My 2 hours expired, and I frantically but successfully began a new session (because it wouldn't let me extend the original session). However, I got a ticket regardless because I had been parked in that zone for over 2 hours. The concept of "maximum duration within a zone" is a bit confusing, but that first ticket drives it home pretty quickly.

Long story short: If Parkmobile is programmed not to give you longer than 2 hours at a meter, beware of this situation.

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We've been using ParkMobile since about mid-summer (finally got on board when Rehoboth implemented it for downtown meters; that was a HUGE time saver and headache avoidance). Ironically, I only use the app when faced with battling another "high tech" parking system: those f*ing kiosks. Half the time they won't accept a credit card, once I wasted 15 minutes trying to pry my card back OUT of the machine when it didn't spit it out properly, and using coins works about once every 3-4 tries. We keep plenty of change in the car so I use that in any old school meter, but I will absolutely pay $0.45 to avoid 5 minutes wasted trying to get a receipt from a kiosk or having to walk down the block to find a working one (and then back to the car to put it on the dash).

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