City of Buffalo Mobile Parking App Goes Live

Originally published on WBFO 88.7 by Michael Mroziak

May 31, 2017

Buffalo Roam gives users a chance to pay for parking spaces without the use of coins or pay-and-display kiosks by using one’s own smartphone. The app is free to download at iTunes, Google Play or the City of Buffalo’s own website.

“The Buffalo Roam app is custom to the City of Buffalo,” said Chris Watt of Passport, the company that designed the app. “It has the functionality to be layered with other features and products moving forward.”

The app also warns users when time is about to expire and allows them to remotely purchase extended time. Buffalo Roam also provides traffic updates.

City leaders welcomed the official launch of Buffalo Roam on Tuesday. Among them was Common Council President Darius Pridgen, who celebrated by tearing up a receipt from one of the pay-and-display kiosks he used just prior to the news conference.

“I think it’s going to serve our residents well, especially on those snow-covered days,” Pridgen said. “You won’t have to climb over a mountain of snow in order to pay and still do what you do, eating playing, learning, working in Buffalo. You can go right to that app and extend your time.”

Coin and pay-and-display options will still be available. In cases where a car is parked in a space requiring payment, Buffalo parking enforcement officers will have the means to scan cars to verify if the owner used Buffalo Roam instead of the other means. Kevin Helfer, commissioner of the city’s Parking Enforcement division, says users are emailed a record of their purchases which provide proof in the event they are mistakenly issued a ticket.

“Instead of having to bring that to us, we can do a lot of this through electronics,” Helfer said.

The commissioner also noted that, while other options will remain available, Buffalo Roam may help the city save money in the cost of maintaining the coin and pay-and-display equipment.