MBTA debuts mobile parking payment system

Posted on July 23, 2010

[IMAGE]MBTAMobileParkingSystem2FULL.jpg[/IMAGE] The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) launched a new payment system for parking at commuter rail stations that allows customers to bypass pesky cash deposit boxes and pay instead from their mobile phones.


Through the system, called Parkmobile, customers can pay with a smart phone application or by sending a text message or making a call from any cell phone.


Commuters can pay for parking after boarding their trains, so they don't have to waste precious moments in the morning meticulously folding dollar bills or counting quarters, then stuffing them into slots.


The new payment system starts on Friday at 72 parking lots along the commuter rail system — including in Grafton, Southboro and Westboro —  which have a total of 25,000 to 30,000 parking spaces.


More than 1,000 people have already signed up to use the new payment program, Mr. Davey said.


To use the new mobile payment system, customers have to register once with their license plate, credit card and mobile phone numbers. Then, every time they park, they use their phones to send two more pieces of information: the lot number and the space number in which they parked.


Parkmobile is free for customers, but the company charges more than 30 cents per transaction. Mr. Davey said that fee will be absorbed in the MBTA budget and will not be passed on to customers.


Parkmobile, based in Atlanta, offers its product at public transportation systems in several states, from New York to Michigan to Hawaii. But a company executive said he expects Massachusetts to be one of the best and busiest markets.


More information is on MBTA.parkmobile.com.


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