Dearborn, Michigan may be “Motor City” but it hasn’t been too sympathetic to motorists parking predicaments. Until now. Parkmobile USA, a service that allows drivers to use their mobile phone to pay for parking is coming to the downtown district of Dearborn.

“With this technology, customers no longer have to search for change or estimate the time needed at their destination. The pay by phone service is an example of another technology that can make our lives easier and more efficient,” explained Albert Bogaard, President & CEO of Parkmobile USA, Inc.

The service, currently operating in US locations including Atlanta, Georgia, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Seattle, Washington; Richmond, Virginia and Sausalito, California, is simple to use. Customers register for free at www.parkmobile.com. After signing up, motorists can use a mobile app, access the internet, or call a toll free number to pay for parking. In addition, members can receive text message alerts and reminders fifteen minutes before their time expires. Bottom line– the convenience factor is worth the .36-cent transaction fee for using the service.

Parkmobile may even bring more consumers to Dearborn. “We’re pleased to offer this innovation to make it even more convenient for people to visit the stores, night spots and restaurants in our west downtown,” said Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. “We want to deliver services for the way people live their lives now, and phone applications are a big part of that.”

Then again, if you’re not interested in paying for parking, there are iPhone apps like PrimoSpot that lead you to prime spaces in Boston and New York. And if you’re trying to squeeze in to Hollywood (without paying the valet) check out the recently launched “Parker for iPhone‘‘ for $1.99. It gives Los Angeles drivers a digital map pinpointing the city blocks with the most available spots.

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Holly Reich writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on uptownlife.net.

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