Ferndale hopes to improve downtown parking experience with new app

A fresh vegan and vegetarian dinner at GreenSpace Café. A round of drinks at the recently re-modeled Dino’s Lounge. A quick match of axe-throwing at Detroit Axe. Downtown Ferndale has a lot going for it these days.

And with all of the shopping, nightlife, and entertainment options that the city has to offer, that means that Ferndale has become a magnet destination, drawing in people from all over the region. With so many visitors comes the question of parking.

There are nearly 1,300 parking spaces available in downtown Ferndale, each available at 50 cents an hour. City officials say that paying for parking has gotten a whole lot easier, thanks to the roll-out of the city’s newest parking app, ParkFerndale.

Powered by technology company Passport, ParkFerndale replaces the previous parking app. It is free to download through both Apple and Android stores.

The improvements brought by the new app are numerous, according to the city. These include a customized design for Ferndale, the elimination of zone numbers, zero convenience fees when extending a session via phone, and parking validation codes from local businesses. Drivers don’t have to wait for a future parking session to use a validation code, which is also new.

"Ferndale is an innovative city with forward-thinking residents, business owners, customers and visitors," said Ferndale Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch. "The ParkFerndale app will provide a customized experience to help users better navigate their time spent in our city."

Also new is the ParkFerndale.com website, complete with parking news and parking permit information. Residential and business parking permits can now be purchased online.

The developer of the app, the Charlotte, North Carolina technology company Passport, is the same company used for parking in the city of Detroit.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.