MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The city of Minneapolis is testing out a new smartphone app that will allow drivers to pay for on-street parking from their phone.

“At the moment you come to the meter, you can pay by credit card, coins,” said Mark Read, assistant parking manager with the city of Minneapolis. “Now you have the option to pay by the mobile application.”

The Minneapolis City Council approved mobile parking payment this spring.

For the past month, city employees have been testing the Parkmobile payment app at about 1,000 meters near Target Field and in the North Loop.

On Wednesday, it was our turn to try.

“Once you download the app, it really is easy,” Read said. “You make an account, and store your credit card and license plate information. Then you come up to a paystation that accepts this kind of payment, enter your space, select how long you’re parking, and click go. It’s really that easy.”

Convenience will cost you a bit more, though.

There’s a 25-cent fee each time you use the app. Or, if you buy a 99-cent monthly subscription, the fee is 15-cents per use.

In addition to streamlining the payment process, the app will notify you when there are 15 minutes left on your meter.

You can also see your parking history, to help with reimbursements.

And, if you forgot where you parked, there’s a map function.

“It will locate your car for you,” Read said.

If everything with the pilot program goes well, mobile payments will expand city-wide this fall.

Minneapolis is the only area city to taking part in the program for now.

Mike Augustyniak