Parking-Ticket-Avoidance Tourism

Parking-Ticket-Avoidance Tourism

Summary: I never get parking tickets at home, just while traveling. That’s why I’m considering taking my next vacation in a place where I can park with my mobile.

TOPICS: ÜberTech

The parking ticket is a scourge of modern times. I’ve successfully avoided them at home. Not so much when I’m travelling.

Now, sometimes it is because the signage is a little tricky to understand, like this one I encountered in Israel.


Sometimes, I think it is the place. The San Francisco Bay Area seems to be my own parking ticket Twilight Zone. I’ve only visited the place 12 times, and am at two parking tickets and counting. (Luckily, there’s an app for that: Fixed. Snap a pic of your ticket, and Fixed will contest it for you.)

That’s why I’m considering going to Vienna on my next vacation, where you can park with just your mobile. You can make the payment via an app on your iPhone, Blackberry, Windows, Android, or feature phone. It is simple. It works in 14 cities. It doesn’t require change. And the best thing: just before the parking period expires, you get an SMS reminder that invites you to extend your parking time. Finally, no more tickets.

Now, if only I could pay my fine via mobile too, then I wouldn’t have to deal with billing systems that demand you have a zip code. (Are you really going to make me write you a cheque, City of Berkeley, California? And good luck cashing a cheque in pounds sterling.)

It’s good to know bureaucracy is just as inefficient and maddening no matter where you go.

Topic: ÜberTech


Diarmuid Mallon is the Director, Global Marketing Solutions & Programs – Mobile, which includes the SAP Mobile Services division and SAP Mobile solutions. He has worked in the mobile industry since 1996. Follow him here at ÜberTech and @diarmuidmallon.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • San Fran is a rental company's dream...

    Got a ticket on a car rental in SF even though I was actually renting in Phoenix at the time. Thanks to Alamo for forwarding my deets to SF parking authority (and charging me for it). Probably can't ever rent in SF now as there is probably a warrant.
  • I paid parking with my mobile in San Francisco

    I had found outstanding parking on my last trip into San Francisco. We needed to visit one of our vendors and found on-street (meter) parking literally by the front door. I used my PayByPhone app and in seconds I had paid for a couple of hours.

    When we decided to go to dinner, I added some funds to the meter, so the time wouldn't expire. A text notified me that my time had nearly expired.

    The app is great and I believe they even offer a mobile-web version. Looks to be working in dozens of cities in the USA/Canada as well as various universities.