Parking rolls out meter payment by cell phone

Information about the ParkNOW! option is included on stickers at all UNL parking meters.
Information about the ParkNOW! option is included on stickers at all UNL parking meters.

UNL is again offering the option to pay for campus metered parking via cell phone.

Parking and Transit Services and national vendor ParkNOW! are launching the new pay-for-metered- parking service March 26. The ParkNOW! service — which allows users three options to pay — is available at 400 parking meters on City and East campuses and the 17th and R Street parking garage.

"We are thrilled to offer this option to faculty, staff, students and visitors who park on campus," said Dan Carpenter, director of Parking and Transit Services. "It is an inexpensive and convenient option to have. And, it is also convenient for us as it reduced the need for cash handling."

Users are encouraged to set up an account at before accessing the service. After an account is established, payment can be made by scanning the specialized QR code on each meter; through the free ParkNOW! application, available for free via iTunes App Store and Android Market; or by calling 402-982-4112.

ParkNOW! offers hourly and daily parking options. The daily rate is $5; hourly is $1. There is also an additional 30-cent convenience fee charge per transaction. Users can also opt for an alert that lets them know when time is about to expire.

Users should note that after a transaction is made, campus parking meters will continue to show that time has expired. Carpenter said, before any tickets are issued, Parking and Transit Services employees are required to check a ParkNOW! database to see if a parking space has been paid for.

Stickers outlining how to use the service are on all UNL parking meters.

This is the second time UNL has offered the option to pay for parking meter by cell phone. In June 2011, UNL rolled out the service with the European-based RingGo. In September 2011, RingGo unexpectedly cancelled the service to all sites in the United States. RingGo was selected by UNL through a competitive bid process.

ParkNOW! was selected because it agreed to meet all terms in UNL's original agreement with RingGo.

"After the RingGo service was discontinued abruptly, we received a lot of comments about how people liked it and wanted another option," Carpenter said. "We had hoped to have this new provider online sooner in the semester. But we made sure the contract terms and conditions were solid before moving forward."

ParkNOW! is the service name used by Mobile NOW!, a leading provider of cell phone and other cashless payment methods for the parking industry in North America. The ParkNOW! service is offered on three continents. For more information, go to

— Troy Fedderson, University Communications