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Smartphone app helps drivers find available parking spaces in DTLA

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 10:33AM
Screenshot of the ParkMe app

ParkMe app provides parking availability, cost information for drivers in Downtown.

A smartphone parking app now provides real-time information to drivers about the availability and cost of parking in Downtown L.A. ParkMe, a Santa Monica-based company, says it aims to "help optimize transportation operations and alleviate the parking woes of Los Angeles County" by providing customized parking information.

ParkMe's app can be downloaded on an iPhone or used via their website. It uses a constantly updating, color-coded map of DTLA to show drivers where parking is, how much it costs and how easy it would be to find a spot at that location. Its features also include directions to your chosen parking location and a "Parking Timer" that helps you keep track of the minutes left on your meter.

“Born and raised in Los Angeles, I have spent years relying on luck to find a parking spot. Now I can use technology,” said Sam Friedman, CEO and co-founder of ParkMe.

The ParkMe app helps narrow its search for each individual driver by asking a few basic questions: Do you drive a car, SUV or motorcycle? Would you rather park closer to where you're going or park somewhere cheaper? It also updates availability and pricing based on the how long you are going to be parked for.

According to a statement from ParkMe, the company is also involved with L.A. Express Park -- the pilot program that debuted in downtown L.A. in May that uses in-ground sensors to inform drivers on where available street parking is. Express Park was launched by city officials to help ease traffic, pollution and driver frustration in the city -- and ParkMe said they were recruited to help "increase the program's spot-finding abilities."

In what ParkMe claims is the "largest parking database in the world," the company is already providing parking information for multiple major cities across the U.S. including New York, Austin and Seattle, and has just added Santa Monica to their list of coverage cities as well.

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