It’s no secret parking meters can be a hassle.
“Sometimes it's the tradeoff between paying for time you’re not going to use and trying to determine how long you're going to be there,” said Ryan Woodward, a Portland driver.
But that's changing. On Thursday, the City of Portland launched its new Parking Kitty app for smartphones.
“No more waiting in line at a meter, no more going back to your car to stick that receipt in the window,” said Dylan Rivera with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Instead of paying at a conventional parking meter, you can pay from your phone. If you need more time, you just add it. There’s no running back to the meter to pay and print out another receipt.
Drivers will be able to add time until they reach the maximum time limit posted for each particular zone.
“If I'm running late and I don't have to do that awkward ‘I got to jump up and put more money in the parking meter,’ makes a whole lot of sense to me so I'd welcome it,” said driver Greg Remensperger.
“I like the convenience, and my nickname is Kitty so I can't go wrong,” laughed Karla Andrews.
All you have to do is sign up, type in the parking zone, your license plate number and how much time you'll be there. After that, you add your credit card information.
“Seems really straightforward,” said Woodward as he opened the app.
If you extend your parking time and put in money, you'll hear a purr. If you’re running low on time, the app will alert you with a meow. It is possible to mute those notifications if you're more of a dog person.
There is a 10-cent fee to use the app for each parking session. That fee pays for the app.
People will still be able to pay at conventional meters. If a parking enforcement officer doesn't see a receipt in the window, they will check the license plate to see if the driver has paid through the app.
The app can be used anywhere in Portland, at Portland State University parking garages, and Washington Park.
It was developed in partnership with Portland State University and Portland Parks and Recreation.
PBOT said the app’s name is a play on the meaning of kitty as a pool or reserve of money. But it’s also a nod to Portland’s well-known reputation as a cat-friendly community.
While drivers say they’re excited about the new app, they’re hoping the city will also consider rolling out more parking spaces. They say parking spaces are becoming harder to find, as the city grows.