Frequently Asked Questions

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General Overview

What is ParkBoston?

ParkBoston is an easy and convenient way to pay for metered parking in Boston using a mobile phone or web browser.

 

What are the benefits of ParkBoston?

  • Pay for parking using your phone without having to go to a meter.
  • Receive mobile alerts 10 minutes prior to your time expiring.
  • Extend your parking time remotely, up to the maximum time allowed per posted signage.

Is there a fee to use ParkBoston?

When parking time in Boston parking spaces is purchased through ParkBoston, a 15-cent convenience fee applies to each transaction. ParkBoston will inform you of the convenience fee and you will be asked to confirm a transaction before you are charged. This fee may vary for parking sessions in surrounding municipalities.

 

Where is ParkBoston offered?

ParkBoston will be initially available in the Back Bay area of Boston, Just look for the ParkBoston logo on street signs on the same side of the street on the block where you are parked and on the decals on each meter.

 

How do I get started?

Easy! All you need is a credit or debit card. Choose one of the below methods for getting started:

  • iPhone and Android users: Download the free ParkBoston app to your device.
  • Blackberry or Windows phones users: Sign up by visiting Park.Boston.gov online or from your mobile browser.
  • Basic cell phone users: Sign up online at Park.Boston.gov (the easiest and recommended way) or through an automated IVR touch-tone system. Go to Park.Boston.gov for details.
  • Your wireless carrier’s message and data rates may apply.

How do I get the app?

The free ParkBoston app is available for download in the App Store and at Google Play.

 

Is there an app for Blackberry or Windows phones users?

At this time, there is no app for Blackberry or Windows phones, but users can access Park.Boston.gov online or from a mobile web browser.

For an app-like experience on a Windows phone, you can take advantage of the Pin to Start feature in Internet Explorer. To do so:

  1. Open Internet Explorer on your Windows phone.
  2. Navigate to https://parkboston.ppprk.com/apps/v7/mobilepayweb/and allow the page to fully load.
  3. Tap More, then tap Pin to Start.

Following the instructions above allows you to pin the ParkBoston mobile web page to your Start screen and use it like a dedicated Windows phone app. For additional instruction on the Pin to Start feature, please visit the Windows phone how-to page.

 

Can I download the app on my tablet?

OS users can download the ParkBoston app on their iPad, but a valid mobile phone number is still required to create an account and use the app. Android users cannot download the app on a tablet at this time due to limitations within the Android platform.

 

How do I extend my parking with ParkBoston?

One of the benefits of ParkBoston is the freedom to extend your parking session from a remote location, like a restaurant, office, or residence, up to the maximum time allowed. If you’re using ParkBoston and your phone has service, you will receive an alert when you have 10 minutes left on your parking session. You can monitor how much time is left on your session at any time by opening up the app. (For more information, see Why is it that sometimes I can extend parking and sometimes I can’t?)

 

Can I still use the meters?

Yes. If you choose, you can still pay by using the meters like you have done traditionally.

 

Without paying at the meter, how do parking enforcement officers know that I have paid for parking?

Each time you use ParkBoston, you will enter your license plate number that identifies your parking session. Enforcement personnel determine if you have paid by looking up your license plate number and payment status.

 

How can I deactivate my account?
Deactivate your account at any time by visiting Park.Boston.gov. Once you log in, select the Menu (upper left corner icon with three horizontal bars), click on Profile and then click the Deactivate Account button. Complete the short process to deactivate your account. The remaining parking funds in your account will be refunded to you, less any amounts used to pay your parking transactions, if any. Be aware that once you deactivate your account, it can’t be reactivated. If you wish to use ParkBoston again, you will need to create a new account.

 

Rates & Fees

What are the hourly parking rates?

Most meters in Boston are $1.25 an hour or $0.25 for 12 minutes. There are two pilot areas (Back Bay and Seaport) that have different meter rates. You can learn more here: www.boston.gov/performanceparking.

 

Are there additional charges besides the parking rate?

When parking time is purchased in Boston parking spaces through ParkBoston, a convenience fee of 15 cents is charged for each and every transaction.This fee may vary for parking sessions in surrounding municipalities. ParkBoston will inform you of the convenience fee and you will be asked to confirm a transaction before you are charged.
Do other cities offer mobile payment for metered parking? How much do they charge?

Many U.S. cities are adopting mobile payment systems for metered parking, including Chicago, San Jose, Louisville, Omaha and Salt Lake City. Typical convenience fees range from 15 to 45 cents.

 

How does ParkBoston bill me?

You can pay for your parking sessions in ParkBoston be either an individual Credit/Debit card or by funding the ParkBoston Prefunded Account.

 

Transactions completed using an individual Credit/Debit card will show up on your card statements as individual line items and will be deducted from your account once the parking session is completed.

 

If you fund the ParkBoston Prefunded Account, you have the option to fund, using a Credit/Debit card, a minimum $10.00 or a maximum of $100.00. Each time you use the ParkBoston Prefunded Account to pay for parking, the cost of your parking session is deducted from your prepaid account. When your account balance reaches $0.00, your account will be automatically replenished, using your selected method of payment, with at least $10.00 or increments of $10.00, up to $100.00, in the amount needed to cover your parking transaction.

 

Does ParkBoston require a minimum purchase amount for a transaction?

Yes. ParkBoston requires a minimum purchase of 12 minutes.

 

Using ParkBoston

How do I know if ParkBoston is available where I parked?

ParkBoston will initially be available in the Back Bay area of Boston. Just look for the ParkBoston logo on street signs on the same side of the street on the block where you are parked and on the decals on each meter.

Can I use ParkBoston at metered parking outside of the City of Boston?

No. ParkBoston is only initially available in the Back Bay area of Boston.

 

What’s a zone number? How do I locate my zone number?

The zone number displayed on the ParkBoston-logo street signs identifies where you are parked. The zone number is listed on the parking sign on the block and same side of the street where your vehicle is located and on the decal on each meter. The zone number on one side of the street is generally different from the other side. Entering the wrong zone number may result in a ticket.

 

Why is it important to use the correct zone number?

Each block and even each side of the street may have different parking restrictions and hours of operation or length of stay.

 

If I don’t have my mobile phone with me, can I use a different phone to pay for parking?

No. Your phone number, thus your phone, is linked to ParkBoston for security and verification reasons. If you don’t have your mobile phone with you, make a payment at the nearest meter nearest to your vehicle. Additionally, if you’re with someone who has a ParkBoston account, they can pay for your parking by simply adding your license plate number to their account. You can return the favor someday.

 

I drive multiple vehicles. Can I add more than one license plate to my ParkBoston account?

Sure. ParkBoston allows you to add as many license plate numbers as you like, and multiple users can add the same license plate number (say for a shared family car or company car). For your convenience, ParkBoston allows you to input multiple license plate numbers to choose from when paying for your parking session.

 

What if I have a specialty or vanity license plate?

People with specialty or vanity license plates issued by any state may use ParkBoston. Simply enter the full license plate number, including any stacked letters from top to bottom, as it appears on the license plate. Make sure to correctly enter every letter or number on the license plate in order to avoid a ticket.

 

Why is it that sometimes I can extend parking and sometimes I can’t?

You may be unable to extend parking if you are outside the zone’s hours of operation or due to a parking restriction (such as rush hour or residential permit restrictions). When you purchase parking, you are not permitted to purchase more time than the allowed length of stay. Make sure you check for rates, parking restrictions on the meters and permanent or temporary signage in order to avoid a ticket.

Like many apps or mobile services, ParkBoston requires a good cellular or Wi-Fi signal. The connectivity of your personal devices is not under our control, and if you experience failure in wireless service, you will be unable to extend your parking session remotely. In such circumstances, please pay for parking at the meter nearest to your vehicle and place a receipt on your dashboard as proof of payment, if required by the meter.

 

 

Can I change my notification alert to something other than 10 minutes?

No. At this time, the time period for the notification alert feature cannot be changed.

 

I parked using the wrong zone number; can I change it?

You cannot change a zone number once your parking session has started, so remember to review screens before confirming your sessions. Make sure you check for rates, parking restrictions on the meter and permanent or temporary signage in order to avoid a ticket.

 

How do I know if my parking time was processed?

The ParkBoston app or mobile web session screen shows the start and end times of your parking session. Additionally, a countdown timer will show the remaining amount of time to your current parking session at any point in time.

 

Accounts & Payments

How do I pay for parking using ParkBoston?

You can pay for your parking sessions in ParkBoston be either an individual Credit/Debit card or by funding the ParkBoston Prefunded Account.

 

Transactions completed using an individual Credit/Debit card will show up on your card statements as individual line items and will be deducted from your account once the parking session is completed.

 

If you fund the ParkBoston Prefunded Account, you have the option to fund, using a Credit/Debit card, a minimum $10.00 or a maximum of $100.00. Each time you use the ParkBoston Prefunded Account to pay for parking, the cost of your parking session is deducted from your prepaid account. When your account balance reaches $0.00, your account will be automatically replenished, using your selected method of payment, with at least $10.00 or increments of $10.00, up to $100.00, in the amount needed to cover your parking transaction.

 

What forms of payment can I use to pre-fund my account?

You can use any Visa and Mastercard card to initiate a single parking session or fund the ParkBoston Prefunded Account.

 

Can I use ParkBoston without having to set up an account?

No. In order to use ParkBoston, you must set up an account first.

 

Can I use ParkBoston without having to link my credit or debit card?

No. In order to use ParkBoston, you must link a credit or debit card to your account.

 

My account is running low; how do I add more funds?

When your account balance reaches or drops to $0.00, your account will be automatically replenished, using your selected method of payment, with at least $10.00 or increments of $10.00 in the amount needed to cover your parking transaction and to maintain an above $0.00 balance on your account.

 

Can I access my parking history? How do I get receipts?

Your ParkBoston transactions are saved and can be accessed two ways:

  1. To email a receipt of a parking session directly from the app, go to Settings and select My Parking History. The app keeps a history of your last 20 parking sessions. Choose a recent session and select Email Receipt. This will send a receipt to the email address associated with the ParkBoston account.
  2. To view the entire parking history of your account, you may log in to Park.Boston.gov from a computer and run reports as necessary.

 

Is it safe to make payments via ParkBoston?

ParkBoston is committed to protecting your customer information. Your credit card number is encrypted and your information is handled as specified in our privacy policy available here.

 

How does ParkBoston use my email?

We use your email address only to send you important information regarding your ParkBoston account.

 

How can I deactivate my account?

Deactivate your account at any time by visiting Park.Boston.gov. Once you log in, select the Menu (upper left corner icon with three horizontal bars), click on Profile and then click the Deactivate Account button. Be aware that once you deactivate your account, it can’t be reactivated. If you wish to use ParkBoston again, you will need to create a new account.

Enforcement

Without the meter showing paid or a dashboard receipt, how do parking enforcers know that I have paid for parking?

Each time you use ParkBoston, you will enter your license plate number, which identifies your parking session. Enforcement personnel will look up your license plate number to determine if you have paid. Do not place your phone in the windshield as proof of payment.

 

How can I avoid getting a parking ticket when using ParkBoston?

If you’re using the app and have a signal, ParkBoston will send a notification alert to your mobile device when you have 10 minutes left on your parking session. At that point, you can extend your session from your phone, subject to restrictions (see Why is it that sometimes I can extend parking and sometimes I can’t?). However, we cannot be responsible for any failure to receive a notification alert or extend your parking session because of any failures in wireless service or malfunctions with your wireless carrier.

 

I paid with ParkBoston and received a violation. What can I do to contest my ticket?

Regardless of payment method, you can always contest a parking violation. Click here to learn more about how to contest a violation. If you receive a violation when you have parked using ParkBoston, you can access your parking history to show verification of payment.

 

Troubleshooting

The app doesn’t work; I’m not getting notification alerts; it’s slow?

Like many apps or mobile services, ParkBoston requires a good cellular or Wi-Fi signal. If you experience any issues with the app, check your phone’s coverage status and/or Wi-Fi signal first. The connectivity of your personal devices is not under our control, and we cannot be responsible for any failure to get a notification alert or inability to extend a parking session because of failures in wireless service or malfunction with your wireless carrier.

Also, please be aware that sessions originated from the app, whether on iPhone, iPad or an Android device, receive notifications on the app and on that specific device.

If you continue to experience problems, let us know by visiting the Menu > Send Bug Report on your app or on Park.Boston.gov and then restart the app. We’ll look into it as soon as possible. Please remember that if you’re unable to pay for parking through ParkBoston for any reason, you’re still required to pay for metered parking and should do so at the meter nearest to your car and place a receipt on your dashboard as proof of payment.

 

How do I reset my PIN?

You create your PIN when you sign up for an account. If you wish to reset your PIN, click on the Reset PIN button on the Login page. You will be required to re-enter your payment card currently on file to verify your identity (we provide the last four digits to help you remember which card you used). After successfully verifying your payment card details, you will be taken to the Create PIN page, at which point you can reset your PIN.

 

Why do I get a “Locked Parking” error message?

If you received a “Locked Parking” error message, be aware that we have manually suspended your account due to payment discrepancies. In such cases, please contact us at 617-635-4410 for more information.

 

Why can’t I add more time to my parking session?

If you are unable to add additional time to your parking stay, it is likely that:

  1. You have reached the maximum parking time allowed for that space. (see Why is it that sometimes I can extend and sometimes I can’t?)
  2. You do not have to pay as no payment is required (check posted signs for hours of operation).
  3. You have parked in a restricted space (check posted signs for special restrictions like parking during rush hour).

 

Why am I receiving a time out error?

ParkBoston allows 90 seconds to complete a transaction before the system times out. If a time out occurs, simply begin your transaction again.

 

Why didn’t I receive a notification alerting me that my time is about to expire?

Like many apps or mobile services, ParkBoston requires a good cellular or Wi-Fi signal. Check your phone’s coverage status and/or Wi-Fi signal. We cannot be responsible for any failure to get a notification alert or extend parking because of failures in wireless service or due to failure or malfunctions with your wireless carrier.

Also, go to Menu > Preferences and make sure that the “Remind me when my time is expiring (app notification)” option is selected. Check your phone’s Push Notification settings and make sure that your phone has service. If you are experiencing any problems, let us know by visiting Menu > Send Bug Report on your app or on Park.Boston.gov. We’ll look into as soon as possible.

 

My phone battery has run out and I can’t pay for my parking with ParkBoston. How can I pay for my parking?

Return to the block where your vehicle is parked, and pay at the meter. A receipt may be required on your car dash depending on where you are parked.

 

My name and/or account information has changed. How can I change it?

No problem. Using the app or website, visit the Menu and access the options under Settings to change your Profile and/or Payment Details.

 

I have a new license plate. What do I do?

If you are parking with a new or different license plate number, enter the new license plate number when prompted. The system automatically saves recently used license plate numbers for your convenience.

 

I have a new phone number. What do I do?

If you have a new phone number, you will need to register a new account for that phone number. Deactivate your current account online at Park.Boston.gov and then sign up for a new account.

 

Can I add another phone number to my account?

No. Each account is connected to a single phone number.

 

I have received multiple charges on my bank account after I used the app. I believe I am a victim of fraud. What can you do?

Contact the bank associated with your credit/debit card immediately if you believe you may be a victim of fraud. In addition, please call us immediately at 617-635-4410 and we can help you determine if the charges are legitimate.

 

I’m trying to create an account but it keeps saying “User Exists.” I’ve never signed up before. Help!

Call us at 617-635-4410 and we can help you sort out the situation.

 

May I get a refund for any unused time?

No. Refunds for unused time are not available. Make sure you check for parking restrictions on the pay box and for permanent or temporary signage in order to avoid a ticket.

 

 

 

 

For Mobile Browser and Basic Phone Users Only

Am I charged for text messages that I receive from ParkBoston?

ParkBoston does not charge for text messages we send to you, but text messages are subject to standard message and data rates charged by your wireless service provider.

 

How can I change my text message preferences?

You can manage your text message preferences in the Preferences section on your online account.

 

How do I stop text messages?

You can stop text message notifications by visiting the Preferences section on your online account and disabling text messages. Additionally, text STOPTXT to 617-622-5320. Following a request to unsubscribe, you will receive a confirmation message from ParkBoston confirming that you have been inactivated in our system. Be aware, however, that if you choose not to receive text message alerts, we cannot remind you of when your parking expires.

 

Do I have to sign up for text messages to park?

If you purchase parking by calling 617-635-4410, you must agree to receive text messages regarding your parking transaction. This includes text messages to process your transaction, receipts for your transactions, and parking expiration reminders. If you don’t want to receive text messages you can use our conveniently located pay boxes to purchase parking.

If you purchase parking with Park.Boston.gov either on a desktop or mobile web browser, you can manage your text message preferences for expiration alerts by visiting the Preferences section on your online account. If you choose not to receive text message expiration alerts, we cannot remind you of when your parking expires.

You do not need to sign up for text messages to use ParkBoston. However, you will need to receive your account verification code by text message when you sign up for ParkBoston app.

 

How many text messages will I receive?

The number of text messages you receive will depend on the number of parking transactions that you enter into and the method you use to purchase parking. Depending on the method you use to purchase parking, you may get up to eight text messages in relation to your transaction.

 

What else should I know about text messages I may receive from ParkBoston?

Text messages are subject to your wireless carrier’s standard message and data rates. To stop text messages, visit the Preferences section on your online account and disable text messages or text STOPTXT to 617-622-5320. For help, call 617-635-4410 or text HELPME to 617-622-5320. Depending on the method you use to purchase parking you may get up to eight text messages in relation to your transaction. If you don’t want to receive texts please use our conveniently located pay boxes to purchase parking.

 

Help & Support

How do I get support?

Using the app or website, go to Menu > Report a Problem and send us the details of your issue. If you need immediate assistance, please call ParkBoston at 617-635-4410 or text HELPME to 617-622-5320.