Contact 2: A relieving resolution for woman frustrated by St. Louis parking app

Data pix.

ST. LOUIS - Anita Jackson frequently parks downtown and has the tickets to prove it. Some she says she deserved, others she didn’t.

“You’re giving me tickets before 9 a.m. and your parking app doesn’t allow me to start using it until 9 a.m.,” said Jackson.

Anita contends that until recently, parking hours on the “Park Louie app” started an hour later and ended an hour earlier than the physical parking meters.

“Your meters are saying 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., your app is saying 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then you’re feeding people tickets. It’s not fair,” added Jackson.

We took Anita’s concerns to Jared Boyd, Chief of Staff and Counsel at the St. Louis City Treasurers Office.

“If there are problems, we encourage people to let us know. We’re always willing to look into them and make the system work as well as we can,” said Boyd.

Anita says she told officials in the Treasurer’s Office about the app issue more than once.

“We’re unaware of any widespread problems. “I don’t know any system-wide issues or big issues that come to mind,” added Boyd.

After that response from the Treasurer’s Office, Contact 2’s Mike Colombo contacted Park Mobile, the company behind the city’s “Park Louie” app. A representative shared a different side of the story. He told Colombo the city alerted the company in late March asking it to change the time policy for zone 20400. Yes, that’s the very zone Anita says she complained about. The Park Mobile rep says the change was made immediately.

“If she wasn’t able to use her phone to pay for parking, she still had the opportunity to use coins or a credit card at the physical meter as well,” added Boyd.

A valid point, but still a point of contention for Anita Jackson.

“Make sure that your app represents the time frame on your meters,” said Jackson.

Contact 2’s questions prompted the Treasurer’s Office to take a closer look. To keep a long, confusing story short, the Treasurer’s Office now says it determined a Parking Division official contacted Park Mobile asking it to update the app. A representative tells Mike Colombo the office was previously unaware of the call and the subsequent app update. It adds neither action should’ve happened. The representative said it appeared a mistake Anita made set all this into motion. Regardless, the city issued Anita a goodwill refund. Park Mobile told her it was putting money back in her account.

There are several things you can do to prevent yourself from getting a ticket when parking in the city. Make sure all sides of your vehicle are in between meter poles or within painted lines. Be aware of the rules on any signage near your spot and never park in front of fire hydrants or in yellow zones and disabled spaces. If you can, grab a screenshot on your phone or a picture of your receipt for proof should you need to dispute a ticket.

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