Park Tucson Stays Up To Speed With New Smart Mobile Services

February 6, 2015

GoTucson - Park Tucson branded IPS Meter Decal Draft DesignBy Cristina Manos

Park Tucson and The City of Tucson are getting on board with the latest trend in parking and transit technology. An app called GoTucson will provide two services that Downtown commuters can take advantage of by use of a mobile device: 1. Pay for ParkTucson on-street parking through a mobile app, and 2. Purchase transit fairs through a mobile app.

Commuters will have to wait a few more months before they can purchase tickets for the Sun Tran and Sun Link transit systems. However, the parking portion of the GoTucson app is up and running and ready for use.

So what’s the benefit of the GoTucson app?

Well imagine you’re a little pressed for time, you need to park in a hurry and you have no loose change to put into a meter. You notice the meter Downtown will take your credit card but at the moment you only have cash on you. You don’t want to get a ticket, but you need to find a way to pay for your meter. Here’s where GoTucson is all about convenience.

The app is free. Once downloaded from the app store on your smart phone you can register to set up payments in a couple of ways, and there are three ways to pay by phone:

  1. From the GoTucson app
  2. From the mobile website
  3. By calling the local phone number 520-441-3752

GoTucson provides the option to set up a pre-paid “wallet” in order to pay for parking fees from the automatic account. The app allows customers to receive text messages to alert the commuter prior to meter expiration. The customer then has the option to extend the meter time while away from the meter, up to the total amount of time available at the meter.

There are a few things to be aware of when using mobile services at parking meters. You can only increase your meter time once, as turn-over is a part of the ideology for keeping spaces open for all Downtown visitors, according to Park Tucson Administrator Donovan Durband. Also, expect to pay a 25-cent convenience fee for each mobile payment transaction. The convenience fee is probably worth it, considering the inconvenience of having to leave a lunch meeting to run down the street and re-boot your meter.

The GoTuscon app also provides a level of security for those who are using on-street parking Downtown. Notification of meter expiration can save you some money because it’s a sure way to avoid being ticketed if you can’t get back to your car in time to feed the meter. Also, transportation agents have their own app that tells them that a meter is paid for through GoTucson, so even if it is flashing “expired,” you will not be ticketed.

Look for the GoTucson decals on meters for information on how to use the new mobile service. The decal explains the three ways to pay by phone. If you’re old-fashioned you can still pay by coin or card.

For now, the new smart meters are available in the Congress Street Entertainment District and on University Boulevard at Main Gate Square. In the coming months smart meters will be installed along the Sun Link corridor. Keep your eye out while getting around Downtown for these new-age, smart parking and transit mobile services.