In the big scheme of things paying for on-street parking in Minneapolis is a minor inconvenience, we know, but it is a pain in the ass.
You have to remember your stall number, punch it in, swipe your credit card, hope it authorizes on the first try, figure out how much money to add, then hit print. And if you want to stay longer, well, set a timer and run out and repeat the process every two hours.
This morning City Council will discuss entering a three-year contract with the makers of an app called Parkmobile. The Parkmobile app would allow people to bypass fiddling with the rectangular pay boxes. Instead, payment could be handled on an app via phone, tablet or computer -- for a fee.
Fees would range from 10-25 cents per transaction, based on whether customers sign up for a 99-cent monthly membership and if they pay with a credit card or deposit prepaid money into a "Parkmobile wallet."
According the city staff, the plan is to test the app in a limited area for a few months starting in May. If all goes well it would be expanded in August and September, with full coverage by October.
Here are a few screenshots of the app in action:
Check back tomorrow for updates after City Council discusses Parkmobile's proposal.
Send news tips to Ben Johnson.