Feed the meter? Hand me my phone!


You can do practically anything with your smart phone. Now you can use it to pay for parking in Evanston.

There's an app for that. It's called PassportParking, and you can download it for free on either an iPhone or an Android phone.

Once you download it to your phone and enter your payment card information, you're good to go.

Right now, PassportParking meters are only available in the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Sherman Avenue, but the city expects to expand usage throughout Evanston by the end of the summer.

You can also use it in other Passport cities as the service expands.

Let's say you have a breakfast meeting downtown that begins at 7:15 a.m., but you don't have to feed the parking meters until 8. No problem. You park and note the zone and meter numbers and go to your meeting.

But instead of excusing yourself to go outside to feed the meter at 8 o'clock, you do it right from your cell phone. If the meeting runs longer than expected, you can extend the time from your phone, just so long as you do not go beyond the maximum time allowed for that particular parking space.

Once you get the hang of it, you can learn some of the advanced features, such as paying by text or paying by voice.

"With PassportParking alerts," says the city's parking and revenue division manager Rickey Voss, "people parking in Evanston no longer need to worry about how much time they have left or running back to the meter to add more time. Now they can focus on all the great things Evanston has to offer."

To learn more about the service, take a look at the company's website.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio stations and business-oriented magazines.

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