Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ October 2011

Pay for Parking With Cell Phone

By Jacquie Bokow

Perhaps you weren’t aware that you could pay to park your car at county-owned lots using your cell phone, but now it’s even easier to do, thanks to the addition of QR — Quick Response — codes, those black-and-white squares readable by smart phones that are popping up in ads everywhere.

The QR code contains information that identifies the space number on a parking meter.  The advantage of scanning the QR code is that you needn’t type in the meter number, eliminating the possibility of typing in the wrong meter number.  The ParkNOW! application is available free from iTunes, Android Market, and Blackberry App World.

The pay-by-cell-phone system will eventually cover more than 11,000 meters throughout the county.  Participating meters are individually labeled with cell phone parking instructions.

Before using the service, you need to register online and fund your “prepaid wallet” in the ParkNOW! system.  Every time you park, your account will be debited accordingly.  You can always check your account balance on your personal web page on MobileNOW!  Just be aware that, although the parking rates are the same whether you pay by cell phone or cash, you’ll be charged an extra 35ยข “convenience fee” per parking transaction for paying via cell phone.

When you return to your car, you may either allow the session to run until time expires, or you may call the same pay-by-cell to stop your parking session, and pay for time parked only.  You will receive voice and text messages confirming the start and stop of your parking session.  [For more information, see MCDOT Pay By Phone.]

[Note:  Websites and QR code have changed since this article was printed; updated links are provided in the story above.]     ■

   © 2011 NFCCA  [Source:]