The City of Waterloo allows drivers to pay for parking with Honk Mobile app

Photo by Luke Sarazin

Starting Sept. 1, drivers in Uptown Waterloo will be able to use the Honk Mobile app to pay for additional parking beyond the allotted two free hours.

The app is already available for use at Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. At Laurier’s Waterloo campus, visitors can use the app to pay for parking at the pay and display lots and the metered parking lots.

The app is intended to give drivers a more convenient and reliable way to pay for parking.

“Users can download [Honk Mobile] from Google Play or the App Store. And then they can set up an account for themselves to use,” said Christine Tettman, the parking program manager for the City of Waterloo.

In addition to its availability on smartphones, Tettman confirmed that the service would also be accessible through a web browser.

For drivers in Uptown Waterloo, the app will be functional in “all of the City’s off street, no charge parking spaces,” Tettman said. 

“There are several surface parking lots where the app will be made available for use. It will be made available in the City of Waterloo Town Square North Lot, Waterloo Town Square South Lot, Museum Lot, Temporary Lot A, Temporary Lot B, the Station Lot, and the City Centre Lot,” Tettman said.

Once drivers exceed the two hours of free parking permitted in these lots, they will be able to purchase additional parking through the Honk Mobile app at a rate of $2.75 per hour, according to a media release put out by the City of Waterloo.

Since the app will be made functional on all of Waterloo’s public lots on launch, there won’t be any room for expansion by the city. However, Tettman suggested that the app’s use may be expanded to private property.

“Any expansion that would be done throughout Waterloo would be done on private property because the City is already making it available in our public lots,” Tettman said.

With the potential for technology to fail and applications to be hindered by bugs, drivers may be concerned that payments processed through the app won’t reach parking enforcement officers in time and that they will be wrongly ticketed. However, Tettman was confident that such an event would not occur.

“No there are no concerns with that. All communications are done in real time,” Tettman confirmed. 

When asked about whether the City had any further plans to use new technology to change commuting and mobility, Tettman revealed that she was unaware of anything else in the works.

“Technology is ever-changing and Waterloo has a reputation as a smart city, so as all those options become available they are things that would be on the City’s radar to consider, but I’m not aware of any specific projects on the go at this time,” she said.

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