Drivers throughout the United States will now have the option to pay for street parking right from Google Maps as part of an expanded partnership with transportation software companies Passport and Parkmobile. Google also announced it was extending this contactless payment feature to public transit users.
Google Maps’ pay for parking feature will expand first via Android to more than 400 U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. The feature will be available through the iOS version of the Google Maps app soon, the company said. The transit feature will include more than 80 transit agencies globally.
The parking feature, which integrates with Passport’s operating system, launched in Austin last year. The two companies indicated, at the time, that the feature would eventually roll out in other U.S. cities. While the expansion was expected, it’s still a boon for the North Carolina-based startup, which is now integrated in one of the most widely used navigation apps. The same goes for Parkmobile, which is also embedded in Google Maps.
The aim, according to Google Maps product manager Vishal Dutta and Google Pay’s Fausto Araujo, is to help drivers users pay for parking without having to touch a meter — a compelling feature in this era of COVID-19.
When navigating with Google Maps on iOS and Android, drivers in certain cities in the U.S. will see an option to pay for parking with Google Pay as they approach their destination. This means a user has to set up a Google Pay account, which is linked to a credit or debit card. From there, drivers add their meter number, the amount of time they wish to pay for, and complete the payment via Google Pay. Parkers can also add time to their meter from their Google Pay app without returning to their vehicle.