Mobile payment for street parking comes to Toronto

Oct 25, 2016 | Biz/Tech, News

By: Kylie Vaillancourt

The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) has released an app called, “Green P” that allows people to pay for parking on city streets and in paid lots through their mobile devices.

Mayor John Tory and the parking authority announced Monday that motorists are now able to pay for on-street parking through their mobile device. It was previously available only for the paid lots, called off-street parking.

Ian Maher, Vice President, Strategic Planning and Information Technology Services, told Humber News, that the app is beneficial because it makes it easier and more convenient for people to park and pay.

“It gives people an alternate payment method for paying on-street parking using their phone – typically a smartphone,” said Maher.

“So, instead of going to a machine and getting a ticket, you can start a session – which are called active sessions—from inside of your vehicle using your phone.”

The information about each parking session is relayed to police parking enforcement so they can see if someone has paid.

Maher says one of the reasons for the app is that customers demanded it.

To pay for off-street parking, customers would need to input a three-digit location code in the app in order to start the process of paying.

For on-street parking, it’s the same process but there will be a four-digit code that will be visible on the machines and hours of operation signs. These signs will allow someone to know whether this payment of method is available at that location or not.

Users will type the code into their mobile device, select the time that they want to buy and will automatically pay by credit card. A warning will be sent to the phone when the time is about to expire and if needed, the user can buy more time for the meter through their device.

Enforcement officers use network-connected, handheld terminals that will help tell them if a car has paid.

There’s a variety of students at Humber College who drive to school who weighed in on what they think about paying for parking via mobile device and what they think if it were to come to the school.

“I think it’s cool that we can pay with an app instead of traditionally using coins or whatever they have,” said 20-year-old Nursing student Matthew MacNeil.

MacNeil said he is indifferent to if Humber were to take on this type of payment for parking at the school as he uses the parking pass a lot. He wouldn’t mind if Humber were to try out this type of payment method as long as it doesn’t cost too much and they can find a proper way to implement it.

Accounting student Joseph Chubbs, 26, says that the app sounds a lot like the presto card that is currently being used by the TTC and other transit services.

“I have mixed feelings. Convenience for students is key, however Humber’s parking is cramped as it is. It won’t make a difference in my opinion,” said Chubbs on whether the school should try out an app like “Green P.”

Chubbs believes it wouldn’t make much of a difference other than students not having to go to kiosks to pay for parking.