Chicago Parking Meters LLC, which operates all of the city’s parking boxes, is installing new touch-screen systems that will allow drivers to type in their license plate number, and pay by card or coins. Drivers also can get a receipt via text message, rather than a paper receipt.
Officials said the new system will be more convenient for drivers, especially in winter months, or for parents who have their kids with them, because they no longer will have to walk back to their car after paying for parking to put the receipt on their dashboard.
Parking enforcement aides will use tablet computers to check a database of license plate numbers that have paid for parking, rather than checking dashboards for paper receipts that have been used for years.
The new parking boxes look virtually identical to the old ones, except for the new touchscreen displays.
The new system will not affect drivers who use the ParkChicago app to pay for parking with their smartphones. Unlike the parking boxes, the app allows drivers to add time to their parking window when using a metered space. The app is available on Google Play or the App Store.
Once they have paid, drivers can still move their car to another metered space if they have time left, as long as they move to a spot with the same rate, or a lower rate. If they move to a spot with a higher rate, they must pay for a new parking session.