The City of Kamloops is swapping out its pay-by-phone parking system Telepark with an app called Whoosh.
KTW reported in September the frustrations of a Kamloops woman who was overcharged for parking in downtown Kamloops by Telepark, the third-party telephone parking service.
Jennifer O’Neill was charged $120 in erroneous parking fees and was ultimately refunded after a runaround with the company.
The public also apparently found Telepark’s SMS system cumbersome.
John Ramsay, head of bylaws, told KTW at the time the service was on its way out pending review of a new app.
The new service is Whoosh, a pay-by-phone service adopted by Precise Park Link, which is contracted by the city.
The city describes it as an “intuitive and easy-to-use parking application that uses GPS locations to automatically identify the user’s location.” It will send expiry notifications and allow users to extend their time via smartphone from their current location.
Precise Park Link posted on its website nearly a year ago an “urgent notification” to Telepark users, requesting they re-register with Whoosh due to a software migration.
Ramsay said the city took a bit longer on its end to test the new app, including privacy protection.
He added that Whoosh is more user-friendly.
Whoosh is available as a free download with a smartphone or desktop computer. For more information, go online to kamloops.ca/parking.
Ramsay said the city welcomes feedback on the new app, which can be done by calling the city’s parking department at 250-828-3407.
The new app comes at no cost to city’s ratepayers or drivers.
Negotiations with Precise Park Link bulked the service into the city’s current 10-year contract, which will expire in 2022.
This year, the city is paying to Precise $192,000, an amount that fluctuates annually based on how many parking kiosks are operating.
Ramsay said there are currently 102 machines on city streets.
While Telepark made its money by charging users, Whoosh will be free to use.