DETROIT — It’s been a few weeks since the City of Detroit rolled out its new parking app, Park Detroit. While the city believes this new parking app will be the wave of the future, not everyone is liking the change.
“I’ve been parking in the lots now rather than dealing with the app, it’s costing more money, but it is a lot less headache,” said Mikey Nichols.
Nichols is a bartender at the Old Shillelagh in Greektown, so parking downtown is a must. He’s been trying to use the new Park Detroit app, but says he has been left frustrated more times than not.
“One, you have to try and figure out how to log in, it doesn’t keep the same login from the original app, you have to do a whole new thing. It does not detect your current location right when you log in, you have to try and find yourself first, and sometimes it doesn’t even find the meter that you are right in front of,” he said.
He is not alone. The app has a rating of two out of five stars in the App Store. Some of the reviews stated, “Impossible to Navigate,” and “Horrible Update."
“It is a learning curve, we understood it was going to be a learning curve,” said Keith Hutchings, Director of Municipal Parking for the city of Detroit.
Hutchings says they are in the process of making updates to the app to make it more user-friendly.
For example, being able to manually enter in your parking spot. Right now users can put in their zone, but it is on the very last page before confirming your parking purchase. That's leading to confusion, especially when you have to tap on a parking spot that is not your own to get started.
“We are making a change, an update to the app, that will make it much easier on the very first page to be able to put your zone number in like you would with your previous app,” said Hutchings.
Hutchings hopes users will eventually see some of the perks, including using the app to pay at parking garages, finding and reserving spots, and help finding your car if you forgot where you parked.
“Being able to see where event and activities are occurring, being able to determine if parking is available, being able to get directions, so it is a multilayered benefit with the app,” said Hutchings.
Hutchings is encouraging people to call their help desk if they are running into issues. The phone number is 313-925-7860.
Users of the app can also check out the city's website for the app, www.parkdetroit.us.
Upgrades are expected to be in place within the coming weeks.