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City, County Officials Launch Parkmobile

Ferndale is the first in Oakland County to institute the new pay by app or phone parking payment program.

No small change? No problem – at least when it comes to parking in Ferndale these days.

Thursday, officials from Ferndale and Oakland County gathered to cut the ribbon on Ferndale's .

"I'm delighted to be back here in Ferndale again," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said during the ribbon cutting in front of . "Ferndale is a progressive, forward-thinking example to set in Oakland County."

Ferndale is the first city in Oakland County to roll out such a program, joining cities such as Petoskey, Grand Rapids and Dearborn. About 100 cities across the United States also use this program, as well as a handful of cities throughout the world.  Earlier this fall, Royal Oak installed 270 solar-powered parking meters that accept credit and debit cards to boost convenience in an increasingly cashless society.

Parkmobile allows a user to park and pay without dropping a single coin into the meter. One can pay by calling 800-280-4146 or by downloading Parkmobile's Smartphone app (also called Parkmobile).

The program encompasses all of Ferndale's 1,221 metered spots. Parkmobile also doesn't require physical installation and users can still pay with coins.

Once the app is downloaded to the Smartphone, launch the app and put in the information it asks. The app will also ask for information that is on the meter itself. Once that info is plugged in, along with the payment method, it's ready to go. Regular parking rates apply, plus an additional 35-cent service fee.

As the meter runs out, the user can either make another call to the Parkmobile number or add more money via the app, without having to return to the meter.

Patterson said a program like Parkmobile puts Ferndale and Oakland County on the map.

Councilwoman Melanie Piana was also on hand Thursday. She thanked the City Council, DDA, city staff and parking volunteers, Department of Public Works, the Police and Fire departments, City Manager April McGrath and Financial Director Jaynmarie Hubanks for their roles in launching Parkmobile in Ferndale.

"In Ferndale we value teamwork," Piana said.

McGrath, who also spoke during the ceremony, said that ease of and access to parking also plays a roll in economic development of the city.

"This is the first of positive changes we'll be making over the next year," she said. "We're excited to continue to make Ferndale a destination."

Lucas Zdenek November 18, 2011 at 07:20 PM
I used it last night while I was working. The system is pretty easy and definitely works well. The only issue I have with this is that there is a $.35 charge to use it and the fee is slightly higher than paying with quarters. I parked for 1:31:47 and I got charged $.80 to park plus the $.35 fee. An hour and a half in quarters is less, but the convenience of not having to hunt under my seats was worth the extra 45 cents. Where I work, people are constantly asking for change and having to go back out to pay the meters. Hopefully this reduces that problem.
Terry Parris Jr. November 18, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Thanks for the review, Lucas!

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