New app expected to make parking at Fresno meters easier — no spare change required

Downtown Fresno employees and visitors no longer have to carry a pocket full of change to pay for their parking, according to an announcement Wednesday from the city.

More than 2,000 spaces are included in the ParkMobile network, a service that allows drivers to pay for their parking stall through a smartphone app, the news release said. Credit card options are also on the way, according to Thomas Gaffery, the parking division manager for the city.

“This the first of many exciting improvements for parking in downtown Fresno,” he said. “We still have many more changes in store, including the launch of credit card-enabled parking meters.”

Meters are a part of life for many urban cities, and advocates have said Fresno needs those improvements if it wants to complete revitalizing downtown. Before the upgrades, Fresno’s parking meters accepted only coins or a prepaid parking card that can be purchased through the city.

Parking options
The city operates several parking garage around downtown Fresno.

City leaders solicited bids earlier this year from companies that provide those parking services. ParkMobile works in a number of California cities, like San Francisco, Oakland, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles. It’s also in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Atlanta.

“We’re thrilled to expand our network to Fresno,” ParkMobile CEO Jon Ziglar said. “We want to provide every driver throughout California with a smarter parking experience that allows them to process their transactions using the ParkMobile app.”

Parking meters are being outfitted with stickers around the city, according to city spokesperson Mark Standriff. The stickers include instructions on how to use the app, which is available for Apple and Android phones.

Smartphone users can set up an account and enter the duration they plan to park in a specifically numbered space. The driver can also add time through the app rather than running back to the meter to feed it more change, according to the ParkMobile website.

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Reporter Thaddeus Miller has covered cities in the central San Joaquin Valley since 2010, writing about everything from breaking news to government and police accountability. A native of Fresno, he joined The Fresno Bee in 2019 after time in Merced and Los Banos.