Smartphone Parking Will Cover All of Boston by End of Summer

Mayor Marty Walsh announces a timeline for the citywide expansion of ParkBoston.

The new smart meters will be rolled out in phases.
The new smart meters will be rolled out in phases. –City of Boston

By the end of the summer, drivers will be able to pay for parking with their smartphones at any of the more than 8,000 city-owned spaces across Boston.

Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Wednesday, April 1 a timeline for the citywide expansion of the ParkBoston program, which has been tested in part of Back Bay since January.

The program updates all coin-fed meters with an Internet-connected system that allows drivers to purchase parking time through an app. Stickers will mark each spot with a designated “Zone’’ number. Drivers enter the Zone number and their license plate number into the app and choose how much parking time they want to pay for. Anyone without a smartphone can still pay at the meter, or can call a designated phone number and purchase parking time by voice.

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The app can also be used to purchase more parking time remotely, eliminating the need to run back and feed the meter. A 15-cent transaction fee is added to every purchase, according to the ParkBoston website. The city says ParkBoston has been used 12,000 times in Back Bay so far.

The system will be rolled out in the remainder of Back Bay and in Fenway/Kenmore this week, according to the Mayor’s office. Next comes Downtown Boston, Beacon Hill, the West End, North End, and Charlestown. And by the end of the summer ParkBoston will be installed in South Boston, Mission Hill, the South End, Allston and Brighton.

The timeline comes a week after a news conference at which Mayor Walsh announced a series of transportation reforms, including smart parking meters, the bike-friendly redesign of a section of Commonwealth Avenue, and the adoption of a traffic safety program called “Vision Zero.’’

At that news conference, officials discussed how data collected from the ParkBoston smart meters could help the city better manage Boston’s parking spaces. They also left the door open for a system similar to the one operating in San Francisco, where the price of a parking spot is adjusted based on supply and demand in the area.

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You can create a ParkBoston account at park.boston.gov.

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