CHAPEL HILL – Beginning Thursday, you can pay for metered public parking in Chapel Hill with your smart phone.

But— each transaction costs 35 cents on top of the parking fee.

“I’m really hoping that it will make people’s lives easier. We’re using new technology to offer an additional payment option for residents and visitors to the Town of Chapel Hill,” said Brenda Jones, the Town’s Parking Services Superintendent.

The pay-by-phone vendor is a company called Parkmobile USA, Inc. Jones says this option will make the parking systemmore efficient.

To use the new Parkmobile system, you can register for free at or download the mobile app.

Once registered, you can use the app, the internet, or a toll free number to pay for parking.

You can also select the option to receive alerts and reminders 15 minutes prior to expiration of their parking session.

“You might have a line of people at particular times during the day—for example during the dinner rush,” Jones said. “With the pay-by-phone option, you won’t have to stand in line.”

Parkmobile has an app for the iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry smart phones.

You pay according to which meter zone you are parking in—stickers were placed through out Chapel Hill earlier this week to designate the zones. The stickers also have QR codes on them; you can scan the codes with your smart phone and that will start the transaction process.

Jones says Phase One of the project is the pay-by-phone option for metered spots on and off the streets—but it could be expanded further.

“Assuming that Phase One goes really well and people respond favorably to it—the next phase would be to integrate it into our off-street lots like the Wallace Deck, the Rosemary/Columbia Street Lot, and hopefully the 140 West Street Lot as well,” Jones said.

For downtown parking information, visit