New parking app is gaining acceptance

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COLUMBIA - So far there have been positives and negatives, but overall, one spokesman said it has gone well.

“The option of being able to feed the meter from wherever you are. You don’t have to keep running out into the street or finding coins,” Public Information officer for Public Works, Barry Dalton, said.

Right now there are about 100 meters downtown with the parking app being the only way people can pay, and about 400 more with the option of using the app or regular coins.

However, as is often the case with technology updates, some people are concerned.

“I did hear someone saying that they were worried about having to use their smartphone when they were trying to park or drive or whatever, and we don’t think that’s an issue because all you to do is look at the zone number on the sticker or the sign, and then as your walking to class you can enter in your information in the app,” Dalton said.

One app user wants more of the downtown meters to have the app and agrees with Dalton that it is easier.

“Just the simplicity of it the fact that I can just look at my phone and tap the zone, or whatever and just click and pay instead of just having to get out coins and getting your credit card out,” Matt Regan said.

One other app user likes the app too, but believes there can be some improvements.

“I’m not a huge fan of the fee that they add at the end of it. It’s usually like 45 or 50 cents, or whatever, per park. If they can put adds on the app, or something, and get they revenue that way it’d probably be a pretty great parking app,” Adam Whaley said.

The city plans on having every meter in the city have the ability to use the app by the fall but people who don’t want to use it shouldn’t be worried.

“Most of our complaints have been people worried that were going to take out the meters, and the only options they’ll have is to use the app. That’s never going to happen they’ll always be the option to use coins. Always have the option of using the card the meter accepts,” Dalton said

The app also gives updates fifteen minutes before your time runs out and where your car is as well.