Saskatchewan Examiner

Why are some people upset about Saskatoon’s parking app switch?

Why are some people unhappy with Saskatoon's parking app switch?

Key Takeaways:

  • Customers in other Canadian areas who have tried the new program have given it a one-and-a-half star rating on the Apple App Store, some bad social media reviews, and even newspaper editorials.

There have been some hiccups in Saskatoon’s shift to a new parking payment software.

The city is transitioning from its current parking software, WayToPark, to Parkedin, launched on June 1.

“We have one more month with the existing WayToPark app, so it’s still in effect now,” said Matt Grazier, director of community standards. “But it’ll be decommissioned at the end of June.”

However, the new program has garnered a one-and-a-half star rating on the Apple App Store, as well as some harsh social media reviews and even newspaper editorials from customers in other Canadian areas who have tried it.

Criticisms include having to re-enter your license plate and also credit card information each time you want to park, the app sometimes stopping and crashing, and the amount of data the app collects from users, including Facebook account information as well as other data.

Grazier said that he’s aware of some early feedback on the app’s launch.

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“We’ve had a bunch of feedback since the app was introduced yesterday,” Grazier added.

“We welcome that feedback and those criticisms so that we can relay them to the vendor as well as hopefully work toward having a really strong app for our clients,” says the company.

According to Grazier, the city has a contract with a supplier for the app, and also the transfer will include quality assurance testing “over the next little while.”

“It wasn’t like we went through an exhaustive request for proposal process and ended up with this app or anything like that,” he explained.

“This arises from purchasing your parking pay stations in 2016; thus, it was related to functionality and then the necessity for a phone app to use with the pay stations back in 2017.”

Why are some people unhappy with Saskatoon's parking app switch?
Why are some people unhappy with Saskatoon’s parking app switch? Image from Globalnews

Ward 9 Coun. Bev Dubois says she already hears concerns about the new app, but she believes it will improve citizens’ parking experiences.

“At this point, it’s kind of out of the city’s grasp,” she explained.

“It’s the vendor that we have, and we always take all queries and concerns into account and work with both the vendor to ensure that our residents and others who use the applications have the best experience possible.”

According to Dubois, the data collected by the app is problematic.

“Giving your personal information voluntarily through an app,” she continued, “is not something I would be doing.”

“I believe that is how the majority of people feel.” We don’t need any more intrusions in our lives now that our information is widely available.”

Source: CTV News

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