It is a familiar situation for many: either leave an event to go replenish the soon-to-be expired parking meter, or risk getting a ticket.
Pittsburgh-based MeterFeeder, Inc. has developed a smart parking system to avoid these situations, and the service will soon be available in Homestead.
To start, users must download the free application and enter their plate and credit card information, according to MeterFeeder COO Jeremy Moore.
“Once you select a vehicle,” Moore said, “you basically press a plus or minus key for how much time you want, and once you have the amount of time you want, you just hit pay and you’re done.”
Moore said the current meters will remain in place, as the app works with the system already in place. Therefore, the setup will require no additional hardware.
The service has already been implemented in Dormont and is making its debut in Bellevue later this month. Moore said the company already has plans to expand to additional communities.
“We’ve presented to Brentwood, Braddock, Bridgeville,” he said. “We’ll be speaking to Carnegie as well here pretty soon, so we’re trying to get our presence throughout all of Allegheny County.”
The company takes no money from the boroughs it partners with and instead charges the user a small upcharge for the service. Moore said this is way to give these towns technology they would otherwise not be able to afford.
“That would include anything from mobile applications for users to pay for parking, to enforcement tools, to dynamic administration tools like on-demand pricing changes or real-time enforcement guidance,” he said.
Operating in a city with a growing tech industry such as Pittsburgh has helped the company, according to Moore.
“Me and my two other partners, we’ve worked at quite a few other startups in the Pittsburgh area in technology,” he said. “So it gave us the ability to get our feet wet without having to leave Pittsburgh.”
Currently, MeterFeeder only operates in Pittsburgh. Moore said he would like to take it nationally eventually, but Pittsburgh will always be home.
“We have started to talk to some other areas outside of Pittsburgh,” he said. “We want to keep Pittsburgh as our headquarters, though. We want to stay here, stay local, and make this the first area we roll out any new technology.”
The company is aiming to launch the system in Homestead in late July.