All of Boston’s 8,000 metered parking spaces will be payable by smartphone by the end of this summer, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday.
ParkBoston, the mobile payment app that was rolled out in part of the Back Bay in January, will soon be available for use in the rest of Back Bay and Fenway/Kenmore neighborhoods; installation of the system in those areas begins this week. In the coming months, Charlestown, Downtown Boston, the South End, South Boston, Allston and Brighton will be covered by the app.
“The community has really embraced ParkBoston, and we are excited to be bringing this type of innovation to more people so quickly,” said Gina Fiandaca, the head of the Boston Transportation Department, in a statement. “This is one of the first steps we are taking in overhauling the parking experience in Boston.”
According to Walsh’s office, 15,000 people have downloaded the app, which has been used more than 12,000 times to pay for parking spots in a busy part of the Back Bay. Instead of running back to their cars and fishing around for quarters, users of ParkBoston can pay in a few taps -- or a phone call, if their phone doesn’t have internet access -- and pay a 15-cent premium for the service.
The app doesn’t physically update the meter, but parking attendants check their hand-held computers before issuing a ticket to see if the car’s owner has paid using ParkBoston. A similar app, called ParkMobile, has been available in Somerville since 2014.
It’s the second big parking-related development the mayor has announced recently. Last week, the Walsh administration said it would pay $6 million to install new meters that accept credit cards . Both new programs are also meant to provide the city with new data about where and when people drive and park, which it can use to develop new transportation policies.