New to Motu? GR’s latest parking app explained

Originally published on WOOD TV8, June 21, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Starting Monday, June 25, drivers in Grand Rapids will no longer be able to use ParkMobile to pay for on-street parking provided by the city.

Drivers will need to use a new app called Motu to pay for parking, instead of ParkMobile. Motu is free to download in Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store.


“If you’re a user of ParkMobile it won’t take you more than a second or two to figure out the differences between it,” explained Mobile GR Director Josh Naramore.

The benefits of using Motu include paying on the go through your smartphone, getting alerts when your parking session is about to end, adding time to a current parking session directly in the app, receiving email receipts at the end of a parking session, and managing parking history through the mobile app.

Naramore says Motu is almost easier to use than ParkMobile.

“The interface is a little bit more simple because it’s focused exclusively on just the payment,” Naramore elaborated. “The biggest thing is it’s faster in terms of the set up and for processing transactions.”

The city’s hope: users will be less likely to make a mistake using Motu.

“A lot of our current park mobile customers… sometimes they’ll pay for parking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or a city that’s not within the system and this will prevent that from happening because it is all localized to the city of Grand Rapids,” said Naramore.


Users must first download Motu by searching “Motu parking” in their respective app store.

After downloading the app, they need to create an account using their mobile phone number.

Drivers must park where a Motu sign and decal is displayed in order to use the app. Once parked, the user enters the zone number, space number and length of stay on Motu.

“We’re trying to make it a little bit easier from an enforcement perspective, as well as a customer service perspective,” said Naramore.

After that, the user completes their payment on their phone.


Motu is here, but don’t delete your old parking app just yet: ParkMobile will also be accepted at privately operated parking facilities in Grand Rapids, as well as Grand Valley State University and Kalamazoo.

And Motu isn’t the only way to pay for the city’s on-street parking; cards and change will still be accepted.

Drivers who have questions about parking in Grand Rapids or experience issues with a Motu meter or pay station can contact the app’s customer service representatives at 311 or 616.456.3000. Customer Service is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.