Ferndale’s new mobile parking app is simpler, costs users less, officials say

Originally published in The Daily Tribune, June 18, 2018

Ferndale on Monday rolled out a new mobile parking app motorists with smartphones can use to pay for parking at city lots, meters and kiosks.

Called ParkFerndale, the new app is cheaper to use than the ParkMobile app that the city has used for the past several years.

Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch said the new system is powered by Passport Parking and has advantages over the app it is replacing.

“The new (program) is able to provide the city with an umbrella of services, including online permitting for business and employees and a mobile pay app, as well as (simplifying) parking enforcement,” he said.

The cost of each transaction will drop from 35 cents to 25 cents. Under ParkMobile, users had to pay a transaction cost each time they used it to extend their parking time. Gacioch said the ParkFerndale system will charge only a single fee for those extension transactions.

“We were able to eliminate the requirement of zone numbers and vehicle information” for the new system, Gacioch said. “Now users can simply enter their parking space number and time and be on their way.”

Users have to download the new ParkFerndale app from their online Apple or Google Play stores then sign up with their payment information and email address.

Ferndale is working to have all new signs installed at parking locations in the city by the end of Thursday.

The city operates about 1,300 public parking spaces in the downtown area. Parking meters and kiosks in the city will continue to accept cash and coins.

People can visit for more information. Additionally, they can buy residential and business parking permits through, — which is also powered by Passport.

“People can enjoy the downtown area of Ferndale with a parking app that helps drivers monitor their parking sessions and extend the sessions when need,” said Tom Wiese of Passport in a statement Monday.

The company, online at, claims its mobile-first platform is used by more than 450 cities, universities and private operators worldwide, and is the top mobile pay provider in Michigan.

Up to 18 percent of parking fees paid in Ferndale come from mobile users, Gacioch said, adding that number is expected to increase up to 25 percent of all meter fees pad in the next five years.