Park Mobile comes to the MBCR

When I’m not traveling to client sites or working from home, I take the commuter rail in to Optaros’ Boston office, because I’m not fond of driving, and the traffic in Boston is legendary for both its volume and the craziness of the individual drivers in it.

Generally this means being dropped off and picked up at the commuter rail station, but every once in a while I drive and park there.

Today was one of those days, and my first chance to try out the new “pay for parking from your mobile phone” approach.

First, I signed up for an account at ParkMobile, setting up a username & password, license plate information, and a credit card.

Then I headed off to Swampscott station with the iPhone app downloading to my phone as I drove. Once I got to the station, all I had to do was note the “zone number” for the station (1212), log in to my account on the phone, and click the “start parking” button.

ParkMobile does charge a $0.35 service fee, which for someone who parks as infrequently as I do is well worth it (for not having to worry about finding four singles or appropriate change and getting it in the paybox while running for the train).

Happy to see commuter rail moving into the 21st century!


  1. I didn’t find it that bad – put in the “zone” number, enter the space number, and hit start parking?

    But like I said, doing it once is a whole lot different than using it every day.

    Still beats folding up dollar bills to jam through that little slot.

  2. Hmm. Looked at my email receipt, and it says $4.00 which is the daily rate at Swampscott.

    Did I just halucinate a $0.35 fee? I’d swear that’s what the iphone app told me . . .

  3. A minor gripe with the Parkmobile UI: I have three cars registered, listed as near as I can tell by the order in which I entered them. Every time this app is used, the vehicle field is populated by the first of the three. One day I had Car #2, parked it and selected the correct car. After about 30 minutes I ended that session and moved the car to another spot, entered the new zone number but overlooked that the vehicle selection had reverted to Car #1. As a result I was cited. Was I careless? No doubt. I probably won’t make that error again. But I’d like to see this behavior replaced by a Choose Vehicle button that would present before the session could be started.

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