The new payment program was officially launched on June 28 for Stationnement de Montréal, allowing motorists to pay for their parking using the new P$ Mobile Service app. The city’s parking agency is billing it as a “made-in-Montreal” answer to mushrooming consumer demand. About 50 North American cities already have a similar system.
The app allows a person to pay or renew parking fees for a specific spot and duration, and also alerts the user before the parking period expires. Hurried motorists can access the app free of charge on iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones. It’s also available online and at pservicemobile.ca for the mobile version. Users will pay 40 cents per transaction with part of that revenue going to TC Media, which also shared in development costs.
Ghislain Dallaire, senior director of mobile operations at TC Media said the company has been involved with mobile solutions and app development for the past two years.
“It was always been part of our plan to offer mobile services to end users and other parties,” said Dallaire. “Mobile is another medium to reach a customer and now it’s taking up more and more room, so it’s inevitable that we need to be able to offer these types of solutions.”
TC Media claims that it registered 13,000 subscriptions to the new service in the first week post-launch. “Marketing and promotional initiatives will be rolled out in the upcoming weeks, including stickers on the parking meters across the city and print/web advertising in TC Media properties,” said Katherine Chartrand, TC Media’s director of internal and external communications.
So just whose idea was this smart-park system? Pierre Lalumière, director of communications for Stationnement de Montréal, the company that manages the city’s parking meters, said it has “always been very keen on increasing user satisfaction and keeping up with trends and innovations in other important North American cities.
“We wanted to increase motorist satisfaction through a modern, alternative payment option that blends perfectly with our users’ urban lifestyle.”