Pay the meter before you even get there.
When you live in a metropolitan area, you quickly become acquainted with the various quirks and schedules of the local parking authority. Sometimes parking is free on weekends, some meters have smartphone integration, stuff like that. Some cities do have dedicated apps that connect to their meters, which allow you to feed them remotely, but if there’s a consistent theme with smartphone app development, it’s consolidating functions.
Google announced today that their Google Maps GPS app will be receiving a handy new update that will allow users to feed parking meters and rent spots all in one app. This will be accomplished through integration of two other apps into Google Maps’ framework: Passport and ParkMobile. These two apps offer similar features, such as locating meters, activating them, and paying them remotely, but now you can use these functions without even having to close Google Maps. Additionally, these new features will allow users to purchase public transit tickets for things like trains and busses. Whenever you input directions for a transit station, you’ll get a prompt to purchase tickets ahead of time, though obviously, you’ll need a Google Pay account to buy stuff.
“Simply tap on the “Pay for Parking” button that appears as you near your destination. Then enter your meter number, the amount of time you want to park for, and tap “Pay.” Need to add more time to your meter? Easily extend your parking session with just a few taps,” Google’s press release reads.
— The Verge (@verge) February 17, 2021
Google will be rolling out this update to Android users first, and the service will be available in over 400 US cities to start. These cities include, but are not limited to, Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York. By Google’s estimate, when these features are fully deployed, they’ll be paired up with at least 80 different transit systems all over the world.