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How Developers Can Support Cities in Limiting the Use of Dirty Parking Meters

As cities look for ways to reopen safely and protect their communities Passport has opened its APIs to allow mobile app developers to help solve the health risks posed by one of the dirtiest city surfaces.

The current global pandemic has ushered in a challenging new reality, and cities are looking to embrace innovative technology solutions that can help their citizens and enforcement officers safeguard their health and limit their interactions with public surfaces.

While people are becoming increasingly vigilant about the surfaces they touch, there is a shift happening in urban mobility behavior. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the personal use of cars has doubled while the use of public transportation has halved. This shift towards private mobilitycoupled with health concerns about touching public surfaces in the midst of COVID-19means that cities need to drive higher usage of contactless payment options as a safer alternative to parking meters. 

Passport CEO Bob Youakim explains that through conversations with clients, it became clear that the company had an opportunity to use its technology to mitigate the public health risk of physical parking meters. “Our clients are looking for solutions that will help to drive the necessary shift to contactless payments, so we’ve opened up our first public APIs so developers of popular and trusted applications can contribute to our communities’ need to provide safe and convenient contactless parking payments as drivers return to cities,” Youakim Says. “This is an opportunity for the tech industry to come together and help make cities safer.”

To increase the number of options to pay for parking, Passport is opening its on-street payment-APIs, to allow developers to natively integrate parking payments into their systems. More options to pay for parking will lead to higher mobile payment utilization which will lessen the reliance on physical-touch infrastructure and reduce the associated health risks. 

“Integrating different vendor software on our platform allows cities to more successfully manage their operations while helping citizens pay for parking easily on their mobile devices so that there’s no more unnecessary touching of public surfaces,” Youakim says. “Our world is changing before our eyes and those in the tech community have an obligation to stand together and do what is possible to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.”  

Passport invites developers to work with its team to help cities help people easily pay for parking on their phones to limit the spread of contagion. Developers can integrate Passport’s API into their own systems, without the need of implementing a bulky SDK.  Applicable industry applications include PS-mapping, automotive, payment, MaaS (mobility as a service), parking, and POS systems (Passport is open to additional application use cases). If you are an application provider and would like to learn more about how to access Passport’s open-API software to help cities limit the spread of COVID-19, please click here. 

Stephen Goldsmith, advisor to Passport and professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School says that now, more than ever, it is integral for companies to incorporate in all their offerings responses that help cities stop the spread of contagion. 

“In my history as a city official, we would see that the more serious the challenge or disruption the more likely our employees were to innovate options that help citizens,” Goldsmith says. “As people adjust to a new normal it is essential that cities can offer a seamless transition away from traditional parking meters and ticketing machines towards contactless payment solutions that limit the use of public hardware and thus, flatten the curve.”


Passport is doing its part as a transportation software company to support the global fight against this pandemic and invites companies to join its efforts in helping cities deploy an integrated digital infrastructure that embraces contactless parking-payment options.