Portland State has teamed up with the City of Portland and PassportParking, Inc. to release a new way for PSU students to pay for hourly and daily parking spaces around campus.
Parking Kitty has been in use in the city of Portland since May of 2017. Additional updates include further implementation around PSU in various hourly and daily zones. The app may not be live for the first two weeks of the 2017 Fall Quarter while the app launch receives its finishing touches.
Parking Kitty made its introduction to Portland through a video featuring local feline flow-maker named Moshow the Cat Rapper, who joined forces with the Portland Bureau of Transportation to produce a commercial in the form of a music video.
“I’m gonna park my car with this Parking Kitty app,” Moshow the Cat Rapper’s lyrics assert. “Ridin’ in my car with my cats while I rap/Easy to pay, no receipt, that’s a fact/Find us up in Portland, that’s where we be at.”
Sadly, Parking Kitty does not hail a cat to come park your car for you. However, if you’re tired of those parking receipts you have to stick in your window, PK will sync to an information database accessible by parking enforcement officers who will be able to see that your license plate has paid for time in that parking zone. To quote Moshow, “No receipt, that’s a fact.”
Parking Kitty is about convenience and cats
Dylan Rivera, spokesman for PBOT, said he feels very positive about Parking Kitty and the collaboration with Moshow to spread the word about this new development.
“Moshow is a very charming guy,” Rivera stated. “He is able to help us reach a younger demographic that the city may not have been able to. This is a part of an effort of the Portland government attempting to make access to our services more convenient for people.”
PassportParking, Inc., who owns Parking Kitty, is a third-party, for-profit contractor. Rivera helped clear this up by noting a 10 cent charge per “session” and this is how PPI gets paid. Each time you park your car is referred to as a session.
One benefit of these sessions: You can pay for other people’s parking. Why? I’m a broke student. Shouldn’t other people pay for my parking? Yes, that makes sense, but when you pay for parking in the app, Parking Kitty purrs at you. When you have fifteen minutes left on your session, the kitty app alerts you with a meow.
See? Capitalism can be moderately delightful at a reasonable price sometimes.
Rivera expanded on convenience and discussed PDX Reporter. PDX Reporter is another piece of technology Portland launched a few years ago as a way for residents to report potholes and streetlights that are out and other things of that nature, not for crimes.
Rivera said Portland is constantly trying to figure out how to keep access to its services relevant in ever-changing technological times. Parking Kitty is simply Portland’s latest attempt to be hip to what the kids are doing.
Apparently, Portland thinks the kids like kitties, which is a fair assessment.
PDX Reporter started as an app and moved to the web. Rivera hailed this move as a positive thing for PSU Students and Portlanders alike so the precious storage space on their phones can be saved for pictures and videos instead of installing the app.
So, while Moshow the Cat Rapper’s delightful video discusses the benefits of the Parking Kitty App, users can also use the mobile site as well.
“But I hate new technology…”
Fear not, Parking Kitty will not be replacing the standard green parking meter stations you’ve come to know and love, but will simply create an alternative. According to PSU’s Director of Transportation and Parking Services Ian Stude, PK is merely another option.
“We will continue to have automated pay stations at these locations,” Stude assured. “The Parking Kitty app is setup to supplement this technology…Parking Kitty users will be able to skip the line at the pay station during busy times, keep their vehicle and payment information stored securely within the app for easy use when parking, and re-up their parking time remotely, without needing to return to their vehicle.”
Important final notes
Stude, Rivera and Parking Kitty said that you can re-up your parking time remotely, and if you park blocks away from where you’re going this can come in handy. However, you can only add time to a parking session until you have reached the maximum time allowed for a parking zone.
If you are parked in a two-hour zone and you initially pay for a one-hour parking session in that zone, you are allowed to add up to an hour. This information applies to Parking Kitty and old-school parking with receipts in the window. After you reach the maximum time allowed for that zone you must move your car in order to not be liable to get another ticket.
Most parking zones cover entire neighborhoods, so this part gets tricky. Unless you change the “block face” you are parked on, you can get a ticket even if you have paid for more time. You can park on the other side of the street or around the corner, but you must change block faces. In Parking Kitty, at this point, Rivera believes you would start a new “session” to be able to park on a different block face without getting a ticket.
Parking Kitty is a product from Passport Parking, Inc., which has served many government jurisdictions and several schools including Oregon State University—not that this is a selling point. Stude asserted that PSU has no plans to expand Parking Kitty to be utilized in any of its permit parking areas.
Parking has a cat app, and public transportation is swaying users away from its app, back toward a more widely accepted card, Hop, that crosses many different transportation options and goes across the river.
Technology is changing all time, but at least this time it changed toward more cats. Meow.
Sadly, Moshow was a no-show when asked to comment for this article. It’s alright; the Vanguard believes that given what was available, this piece came out purrrfectly. Cat argue with the facts. Better catnip this in the bud while there’s still thyme.