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Pay-by-smartphone street parking rolls out in Minneapolis

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If you're too far away from your parked car in time to top up your meter, there's now a solution in Minneapolis – provided you have a smartphone.

The city is rolling-out a pilot program it's been touting for the past year that will allow drivers to pay for their on-street parking without having to go to a meter or pay station, according to a City of Minneapolis news release sent to BringMeTheNews.

By downloading the MPLS Parking App on their phone – operated by Parkmobile – they can pay for or extend their parking time from anywhere they like.

The program will be tested first in the city's North Loop and streets around Target Field, with drivers able to enter their space numbers and payment methods into the app, paying a fee of 15 to 25 cents for every transaction, or 99 cents a month if they have signed up to be a member.

The Star Tribune reports that the first phase will see 975 on-street spaces included in the test area, with each marked with a sticker – though meters allowing drivers to pay by cash or credit card will still be in place.

It is then planned for the trial to be rolled out to the rest of the city.

Not only can you pay for parking using the app – which can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple Store, it also gives you alerts telling you when your time is about to expire, and helps drivers locate their cars if they can't remember where they parked.

Here's a map of the coverage area included in the city's testing phase.

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