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A smartphone parking meter app developed by a Mon Valley-based company is bring its services to McKeesport.
City council this month approved a one-year agreement with Braddock-based Meter Feeder Inc. to provide payment services for McKeesport's parking meters.
Meter Feeder allows municipalities to tie their existing parking meters into a computer database that allows motorists to pay for parking using either coins or their smartphones. The app uses GPS location information to detect where cars are parked. It's already in use in Braddock, Dormont, Greensburg, Homestead, Sewickley and other Western Pennsylvania cities.
The company was co-founded by former McKeesport area resident Dan Lopretto and CMU graduate James Gibbs and has attracted positive stories from national media outlets such as TechCrunch and TechTimes.
Users can download the app for free, and pay for parking using a credit or debit card, Android Pay, or Apple Pay. Meter enforcement officers are provided with tablets; by keying in a car's license plate, they can tell whether the driver has paid for parking. If not, they can print out a ticket on the spot. Violations can be paid online as well.
Existing parking meters do not need to be replaced, and users who don't want to use the app can continue to pay with coins.
According to the agreement, Meter Feeder will train city employees on the use of the equipment and software. The company collects a surcharge on parking fees from participating municipalities.
Originally published December 19, 2016.