Chicago Relocation

Call to park? Or – Hello I am going to park here a bit

May 27, 2014

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John D’Ambrogio

Need to park?  There’s an app for that.

OK, as much as many long time Chicagoans feel that the great Richard Daley Jr. (or was it really Rahm?)  squandered some of our future on the way out with his sale of the parking ticket industry to a private company, I have to say the announcement of the new pay by phone system is pretty cool.  And about time we started being a little cutting edge again.

Parkers in Chicago’s west loop are the first to beta test this new system by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, in which they can literally ‘phone it in.’  It’s just under 300 spots by now, but there are plans to expand throughout the city.  No more excuses for parking tickets, Chicago real estate agents.  That is, assuming you can find a legal spot to begin with.

Unfortunately, this takes away the excuse of “I had no quarters and I just had to run in and get my laundry.”  Although that was pretty much done in by the emergence of credit card parking sticker purchases.  And the irony is not wasted on me, but I am amused that they put in an option for the 1% of the world that does not have a cell phone – there is a separate number you can call to get your parking.  Which begs the question – where are they going to get a phone to call in, since they do not have a cellphone.  The number, by the way, is 877-242-7901.  Oh well.

One cool feature is an alarm to remind you to get back to your car, or put in a few extra bucks.  No more running back to the meter before you get your coffee, and no more excuses!

Oh, by the way, did I mention the 35 cent convenience fee if you don’t sign up for the maximum time?  :(