Pay for Parking with your Smartphone – Expanded Options
I’m a firm believer in using technology to improve services for residents. That’s the goal of a ‘smart city’. One of the most popular technologies I’ve seen introduced in Kingston is the HonkMobile app – an app where you can pay for parking at city-owned parking lots in the downtown. This was introduced as a pilot project in late 2017, and over the last year and a half, the program has been incredibly successful. Hundreds of residents and visitors have been using the app and nearly 20% of all parking transactions are now done by phone. This payment option means you no longer have to stand at a payment machine in the cold or rain, and you can top up your parking remotely rather than returning to the machine when your time expires.
This week City Council decided to make this mobile parking option permanent and expanded its use to other city-owned parking lots across Kingston. You’ll now be able to use the HonkMobile at the waterfront lot in front of KGH, the parking lots at Richardson Beach and the Central Library Branch, in addition to all of the other parking lots in the downtown. Parking rates with the app are the same as the machine, plus a 25 cent transaction fee. My hope is that as more Kingstonians use this mobile payment option, we can look more at expansions in the future, like using the app to pay for on-street parking as well.
If you haven’t tried the HonkMobile before it’s very easy to use. Once you open up the app you sign up for an account and enter your vehicle and credit card info. The app lists all the parking lots in the downtown, so all you have to do is select the lot where you want to park and choose how much to time you want to buy. It’s convenient, it’s fast and it’s easy – exactly how services in a smart city should be.