Mayor Walsh announces Citywide ParkBoston expansion following successful Back Bay pilot
April 1, 2015
Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the expansion of the ParkBoston app to include all Boston parking meters. The app allows drivers to quickly and easily remotely pay a meter with their mobile phone, avoiding the hassle of finding quarters or running back to the meter to add more time before it expires.
During a nine-week pilot program, launched in January 2015 in a portion of the Back Bay, the ParkBoston app was downloaded over 15,000 times and facilitated over 12,000 parking transactions. Based on this success, the City expects to complete the expansion of ParkBoston to all other meters by the end of summer 2015. This announcement follows on Mayor Walsh’s announcement last week focused on improving transportation across the City through innovative design, programs, and technology.
“Last week I said we cannot delay making innovative improvements to our transportation system,” said Mayor Walsh. “Thousands of Bostonians have already embraced this new and convenient technology, and expanding this service throughout the city will make the experience of paying for parking easier for each and every user.”
During the pilot, the Boston Transportation Department has worked closely with Passport, an industry leader in mobile payments, to design a smooth and seamless parking experience for users.
“The community has really embraced ParkBoston, and we are excited to be bringing this type of innovation to more people so quickly,” said Gina Fiandaca, Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department. “This is one of the first steps we are taking in overhauling the parking experience in Boston.”
Both ParkBoston decals applied to parking meters and on-street signage will let drivers know where the new service is in effect. Its expansion to the City of Boston’s 8,000+ metered parking spaces in three phases is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2015. The first phase will begin installation this week, consisting of the remaining spaces in the Back Bay and throughout the Fenway/Kenmore area. The second phase will consist of spaces throughout Downtown, Beacon Hill, the West End, North End, and Charlestown. The final phase will include South Boston, the South End, Mission Hill, Allston, and Brighton. ParkBoston payment will become an available option for parkers as soon as the signs and decals are installed on each block.
Last week Mayor Walsh announced that the Boston Transportation Department would be seeking to upgrade all parking meters to new intelligent devices. The ParkBoston app and new smart meters will work together to provide the City with parking data to manage the space at the curb more effectively. It will also provide users with a wide variety of choices in payment from smartphone to credit cards to coins.
Smartphone users can take advantage of the new service by going topark.boston.gov to create an account. iPhone and Android users can also get the free ParkBoston app through the App Store or Google Play. A pay-by-voice option is also available for those without web-enabled phones. To learn more, please visit park.boston.gov.
The pilot phase of Park Boston was supported by the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, Mayor Walsh's civic innovation team. Identifying and implementing ways to improve Boston's streetscape for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers is one of the office's core areas of focus. Recent collaborations with the Boston Transportation Department have included the TicketZen app to make it easier to pay parking tickets, a data partnership with Waze to improve traffic flow, and vehicle sideguards pilot that led to the a nation-leading safety ordinance for large vehicles performing city contracts.