meterUP: PPA expands pay-by-phone parking in Philadelphia

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- The days of depending solely on sidewalk kiosks to pay for street parking are over.

Back in November, the Philadelphia Parking Authority launched the meterUP parking app as a pilot program.

On Tuesday, it officially went into service citywide.

It actually sends you a text when your meter time is running out so no surprises and no excuses for forgetting to feed the meter.

You'll start seeing the newest kiosks all over, including in outer regions like Manayunk. The PPA is hoping the app will take the stress out of street parking.

"There's been times when I've taken tickets just to continue hanging out," said John McSparron of Passyunk Square.

Forget fumbling with quarters or trying to straighten crumbled dollar bills.

"It's pretty convenient and a lot of times you can't really run to your car and add more quarters so the app is really, really good for that," said Sydney Idumonyi of Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The pop-ups of meterUPs is taking parking convenience in the city to a whole new level.

"It's very easy to use and it helps to not have to walk back and forth, and you can re-up from your phone," said Debbie Rubenstein, Graduate Hospital. "I think it's awesome."

Here's how it works:

Download the app by visiting
You'll be prompted to set up an account and a payment method. But you only have to do this once. After that, park by any kiosks with the Meter Up sign, enter in your zone number and how much time you want to pay for.

"When your time is going to expire, you get a reminder 7 minutes before that so you can extend your time, and you don't have to run back to the kiosk or leave your dinner or your appointment," said Sue Cornell, PPA.

And you don't have to leave money in the meter.

"If you pay for an hour and you only park for a half hour, you'll only be charged for that half hour," said Cornell.

"It's just another way to go forward and not always have to carry cash on you," said Rubenstein. "It's just more convenient, and people love convenience."

They love the convenience so much that during the pilot program, there were 36,000 downloads and more than 90,000 parking sessions. The PPA says by September they should have the kiosks working all over the city, including outlying areas like Manayunk.
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