HRM rolls out parking meter app
HotSpot app available to pay at parking meters by Dec. 4
December 1, 2017, 8:50 pm ASTLast Updated: December 1, 2017, 8:51 pm AST'
No change for parking? There’s an app for that.
The Halifax Regional Municipality says it will fully integrate an app called HotSpot into its parking payment services by Dec. 4.
Drivers can download the app from the company’s website, or their device’s app store. They’ll be asked to register their name, email address and phone number, as well as their vehicle information. Users must pay a monthly fee of $2 or an annual fee of $20 to use the app.
When they get to their parking spot, drivers can enter the number on the parking meter, and choose how long they would like to park for. If the time on the meter begins to run out, the driver will receive a text message and will be given the option to add time to their session. If the user leaves before their meter has run out, any extra money can be refunded.
Jeremy Earley is a Halifax driver who won’t be using the app. He says he uses his car mostly to drive back and forth to his mom’s house near the Bay of Fundy and rarely uses metered parking spots.
“It’s just not worth it for me,” said Earley. “I guess if you park downtown a lot it might be useful for you.”
Katie Hill is of the same opinion. She tries to take the bus more often than her car, so the $2 fee isn’t reasonable for her.
“If it was just a pay-as-you-go kind of thing I might use it, but otherwise it doesn’t really make sense for me,” said Hill.
Helle Haven, however, loves the idea. She parks in a metered space almost every day when she picks up her child from daycare.
“Honestly my life is all apps now,” said Haven. “If there’s an app I can use where I don’t have to have cash on me and I don’t have to plan, I just go, then that’s good.”
The idea for the app was first discussed in 2009 as part of the Regional Parking Strategy. HotSpot pitched the app to the municipality in 2014, but the plan was put on hold because parking bylaws had to be amended for the system to work.
HotSpot is a New Brunswick-based company. The app is already being used in Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John and Charlottetown. Drivers in Halifax can use their HotSpot accounts in these cities as well.
If drivers don’t want to use the app, the option will remain for them to pay with change at the meter.
Haligonians will be able to use the app starting on Dec. 2 at select meters, with all other meters being added to the system by Dec. 4.