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by F. Andrew Taylor

When time is of the essence and people are relying on you to be there, it’s not enough to hope that the great mysterious gods of parking are smiling down upon you. Getting parked easily at a reasonable time could be the difference between success and dismal failure in the business world.

While mapping programs like Wayz and Google Maps can lead you to parking lots, an app with a more focused purpose can give you the edge instead of kicking you to the curb.

Parking apps can make business travel significantly easier, quicker and stress-free. If you regularly travel for your business or even just need to use paid parking in your hometown, they can prove to be invaluable. Most apps also include a pay-by-phone element which allows you to move the expense to a credit card or other online account via your mobile phone or computer, rather than pulling out cash or working out the details of paying through whatever automated parking system a venue is using. There are scores of parking apps, but here are a few of those most widely used.

ParkMobile

ParkMobile is the leading provider of smart parking and mobility solutions in North America. With the app you can pay for on street parking at many locations nationwide. It also gives you a warning when the parking is about to expire and lets you pay more to extend your stay. This will come as a great relief to anyone who has run out of a meeting in a panic to drop a few nickels into the meter, although most of us old enough to remember when a nickle meant anything to a meter aren’t doing much running these days.

Inrix ParkMe

ParkMe has one of the largest and most accurate parking databases in the world. It lists more than 84,000 locations across 64 countries. With simple to pull up maps you can compare prices near a venue and, in many cases, reserve a parking space.

PassportParking

Many cities, universities, and other entities utilize PassportParking to handle their metered parking. The app allows you to monitor your parking sessions, extend your time, view your payment history and receive receipts via email. It’s one of the more popular systems for entities that don’t have the time or resources to create their own parking app, so chances are, you’ll come across it in your travels, so it’s probably worth having it on your phone and being familiar with it before you actually need it.

Chances are you’ll end up with several parking apps on your phone if you travel at all and that’s just a matter of keeping up with the times. The majority of them are fairly straightforward and in many cases they are the preferred and most common method of payment. Otherwise, you can keep sending those burnt offerings to Gunter, the Norse god of parking.

F. Andrew Taylor is an award-winning journalist, artist, photographer, cartoonist and illustrator. He also works in film production, does local historical research and has been an amateur stunt driver and rodeo participant. Contact him at fandrewt@exhibitcitynews.com.

This story originally appeared in the September/October issue of Exhibit City News, p. 14. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecnflipbook_septoct_2019_web

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