GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--It's the parking app that had the Grand Rapids community buzzing when it first came out three months ago. Now the city's rolling out updates to make the app more effective.
It's no secret that the city's new parking app, Motu, started out on a rough road, but after making some necessary changes city staff tells me that they hope it will be easier to use.
The Motu app has received its fair share of negative feedback.
"The app was not working at times, so that's frustrating 'cause it's like you park and you expect it to work, especially if you don't have any change on you," says Anna Geurkink, a Motu app user.
"With Parkmobile, if you parked in like a 30-minute spot, you could just keep re-upping it. When they switched to Motu you could not do that," says business owner, Mark Tobin.
But the city's mobile department says they've heard the gripes and have made some enhancements to the parking app.
"One thing that we've really been committed to is, as the complaints have come in or concerns or even constructive feedback, we've been trying to adjust some of those as much as possible," says Josh Narmore, Mobile GR Director.
And one of the big concerns was extending your parking time, an issue that's been fixed in the app's most recent updates.
In addition, users can now end their parking session at any time, pay by the minute, restart their session, and will receive expiration alerts directly from the app.
But with street parking, users say they may have missed one thing...clear signage!
"If you were to park at one of these, you're going to think like, 'oh, I've got to pay' and then there's just a lot of confusion," Tobin says.
But, the confusion may come to a halt sooner than you think.
"We've made some modifications to some of the signage. We're trying to increase the amount of signage for the new meters that have been installed, all the signage hasn't been completed," says Narmore.
But, with any change to a city, especially one as important as parking, a little patience is key.
"Change is really hard and parking is very personal for a lot of people, but we're really trying to provide the most payment options types for individuals but just a little patience and understanding that change is difficult but tell us what the pain points are so we can work with you to address them," says Narmore.
Now there are a few blocks downtown from Fulton to Cherry Street where meters are not accessible until October 8th because the city just recently installed new meters that won't go "live" until after ArtPrize, but that parking is available. If you have any questions or concerns about parking you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.