Mayor’s Office Teams Up With Citation-Paying Startup ‘TicketZen’
Mayor Marty Walsh’s office has been accused of stifling parking innovation apps in the city, but a new partnership with a company that lets users instantly pay off those pesky parking tickets found poking from underneath their windshield wipers by tapping into their smartphones may prove otherwise.
On Tuesday, Walsh announced a new three-month pilot program being launched between the Office of New Urban Mechanics, the Boston Transportation Department, and TicketZen, an Android and Apple friendly app created by a local tech company.
TicketZen lets people plagued by parking fines scan a citation on their smartphone and connect with the city’s online payment network within seconds, allowing them to skip both a trip to City Hall and the confusion of navigating the Boston Transportation Department’s website.
Walsh’s office picked TicketZen after putting out a request for proposals asking companies to help create a mobile solution to the parking ticket payment conundrum.
As part of the new partnership, TicketZen’s logo will be featured on every computer-generated parking ticket issued by enforcement officers, along with a helpful guideline explaining how the app payment system works. A user’s credit card information is stored within the TicketZen app, so there is no need to continuously enter it every time they need to make a payment.
“Boston continues to innovate around customer service,” Walsh said in a statement. “Implementing new technology that makes the unpleasant chore of paying a parking ticket more efficient and effective, makes life in the city easier. I’m pleased that we were able to partner with a local tech company to get this app done.”
TicketZen was first rolled out by developers over at Terrible Labs back in November of last year.
In an interview with Boston when they first launched, Cort Johnson, one of the founders of Terrible Labs, a company that builds custom web and mobile applications, said they were inspired to create the concept after coming across a Tweet from Kayak cofounder Paul English, who said he had wished there were an easier way to pay his parking citations on-the-spot in Boston by simply accessing his phone.
On Tuesday, Johnson said the company was “thrilled” to be chosen by the city to help people wipe away their parking citations with relative ease.
“Boston continues to be a leader through their sustained efforts to modernize the way its residents and visitors interact with the city, and TicketZen is excited to be a part of that plan,” he said.