City Officials: Drivers mis-ticketed using 'ParkChicago' app - New York News

City Officials: Drivers mis-ticketed using 'ParkChicago' app

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(http://parkchicago.com/) (http://parkchicago.com/)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The new pay-by-cellphone parking app virtually eliminated the need to keep feeding meter boxes. However, for some Chicagoans, the convenience wasn't worth the surprise they got: parking tickets.

“So far, it's been okay,” said Lisa Lantoni, a parking app user.

Lantoni is one of the 50,000 Chicagoans now using the new ‘ParkChicago’ app to pay for street parking with their cellphones. She’s now able to enjoy a longer lunch, without having to return to the meter box to add more time.

“I like that I was able to fill it, while we were talking, without having to go back out to the car. So it's very convenient,” Lantoni said.

However, the Chicago Parking Meters Company confirmed that since the program started in April, 317 people who used their cellphones to pay for parking received tickets anyway. The problem was uncovered by parking meter guru Mike Brockway.

“My feeling is that it is just a learning curve issue. That the people who write the tickets, including the police, just have to learn to check every time to make sure that the person isn't just paid up using the new technology,” said Brockway of TheExpiredMeter.com.

A spokesman for the company told FOX 32 News, "The number of parking tickets issued incorrectly has amounted to less than a tenth of a percent since April 15, and other jurisdictions that have introduced a mobile payment option have experienced similar issues."

The Chicago Parking Meters Company said that app users who do wish to dispute their tickets should call the company, not the city. The company will get the ball rolling, and no appearance at an administrative hearing should be required.

However, some drivers considering the new app told FOX 32 that they may put it on hold rather than risk the consequences.

“Yah, yah, it's probably in Beta now. Like maybe I should wait until they get the kinks out. I don't want to get any tickets, any more tickets, anyway,” said Chicago parker Cristalle Bowen.

Drivers mis-ticketed using ‘ParkChicago’ should call 877-242-7901.

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