Connecting drivers to parking spots: ParkMobile continues to expand in Kansas City

Posted at 6:36 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 11:23:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An app designed to help you find a parking spot in Kansas City, Missouri, continues to expand to make things easier for drivers. 

ParkMobile shows you where you're most likely to snag a parking spot, lets you reserve a spot in a gated lot or garage, and allows you to pay for parking remotely with your credit card instead of using a meter.   

"It is the one thing that you know you are going to do every time you get in your vehicle. You may not get gas, you may not go to the store, you may not need to charge it, if it's electric, but you definitely need to park," said ParkMobile CEO Jon Ziglar in a Skype interview.

41 Action News wanted to see how well the app works. It was easy to reserve a spot ahead of a concert at the Sprint Center. 

When it comes to finding a street-side parking spot, the app shows you where you're most likely to find a parking spot before you even leave for your house. But it can’t guarantee someone else doesn’t take street-side spot before you.

As far as paying for parking, 41 Action News only heard one criticism from a senior couple who found it confusing to pay using their credit card on the app. But they said a younger man helped them, so it all worked out in the end. 

"I would love to be able to find a spot before I get down there and know it is ready for me and avoid that anxiety and frustration about not finding a spot and feeling like I have to walk too far or anything like that," said Mars Denton, who parks downtown once a week, but has not used ParkMobile. 

Denton admitted she's abandoned plans to do something downtown in the past because she couldn't find a parking spot. 

Ziglar, the ParkMobile CEO, said that's where his app comes in. He said drivers looking for parking spots can cause up to 30 percent of the traffic in busy parts of cities. 

"If we can eliminate circling the block, then we can start cut down on traffic. We can cut down on the carbon footprint of the city. We can increase the livability of the city and therefore people are willing to go downtown and go to restaurants and go to stores," Ziglar said. 

The app was first introduced to downtown Kansas City, but this year expanded to the River Market and Westport on weekends.