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State College First in State to Launch Parking Ticket App

by on April 01, 2014 6:30 AM

Got a parking ticket?

Yeah, there's an app for that!

In an effort to simplify the hassle of paying parking tickets, the Borough of State College has developed a partnership with TicketZen, a mobile app that allows you to pay a parking ticket instantly using an iPhone and a credit card.

According to Charles DeBow, State College Parking Manager, 40,000 parking violations were issued last year in State College. Of that total, DeBow estimated "25 percent" were paid late, or remain unpaid.

"You get a ticket, throw it in the glove box, and you forget about it," says DeBow. "We were looking for ways to make paying much easier. That's really what it comes down to. It's convenience."

State College becomes Pennsylvania's first city to adopt the new technology, joining San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Cambridge (MA), Washington D.C., and Chicago. Boston-based Terrible Labs, creator of TicketZen, is currently launching its mobile parking ticket payment system in 100 cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.

After downloading the application onto an iOS device (Android is currently limited to Boston, only), citizens can start paying for parking tickets by simply scanning the barcode on the ticket or entering the violation number. After keying in the correct information, the user can select a payment option. Once the transaction is complete, an email receipt will be sent from the borough confirming your payment.

Instead of paying for parking tickets at the Parking Department in the Municipal Building on South Allen Street or online at the borough's website, violations can be paid quickly and easily through TicketZen, avoiding the threat of late fees.

Cort Johnson, co-founder of TicketZen, says that while the patented technology is available in major metropolitan cities, it was important to first demonstrate the mobile application in a "tech-savvy, smaller market," like State College.

"State College is an innovative city with a savvy student population and we are thrilled to be at the center of the Transportation Department's mobile strategy," says Johnson.

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C.J. Doon is a frequent contributor to Onward State. A Long Island native, Doon is studying print journalism at Penn State.
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