Philly bids bye-bye to parking meter app

Thinking of adding some extra time to that parking meter with your smartphone?

Think again.

For now, drivers are back to paying at ticket kiosks after the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s app, meterUp, abruptly kicked the bucket this week.

And it could be months before the smartphone system returns.

The app that allowed drivers to pay for parking via smartphone was terminated at midnight on April 12 due to problems with the app company.

The PPA laid the blame entirely on Pango USA, the company that launched the app in November 2015.

“Financial problems being experienced by its service provider, Pango USA, led us to conclude that we must suspend this payment option,” PPA executive director Clarena Tolson said in a statement.

According to the PPA, Pango “is experiencing revenue shortfalls and is unable to pay its contractors including its credit card processor.” Pango provides the “digital system that powers the meterUp app.”

While the PPA will issue a new request for proposals to find a new app developer and operator, Tolson said that process could take months.

Within six months of its launch, the popular app had been downloaded by 36,287 people, and used to pay for more than 90,000 parking sessions. It has been expanded citywide.

But Pango USA was sold in October 2016 to a company known as Parking by Phone.

“The new owners have been trying to maintain meterUp without interruption,” the PPA said. “However, those efforts proved unsuccessful.”

Pango and Parking by Phone did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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