Lafayette just got a major upgrade when it comes to parking downtown.

As vaccinations are on the rise and COVID-19 restrictions continuing to loosen up, more and more Lafayette residents have been stepping out and enjoying a more normal version of life in our great community.

Downtown Lafayette is just one of the many areas that have seen an uptick in activity and foot traffic over the last few weeks and as we prepare for a summer that will look a LOT different than where we were one year ago when we had no clue we were about to ramp up into what would be the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

If it's been a while since you've visited Downtown Lafayette, I'm excited to share something that stumbled upon today by chance but has been long overdue.

The next time you pull up to a parking meter in Dowtown Lafayette you'll be happy to see that LCG has finally upgraded to a contactless smart meter system that will allow you to purchase, monitor, and extend your time—all from an easy to use smartphone app-based platform provided by ParkMobile.

And when I say easy, I mean EASY. Allow me to walk you through it.

Staff Photo, Hot 107.9

OK, first of all, it's important to know that you can still pay for parking with coins or a debit/credit card. The rates haven't changed and the hours are still the same. All of this information can be found on the Lafayette Consolidated Government website.

What I'm going to walk you through right now is how to use the contactless parking features. If you notice the green sticker, you can see it says that you can use the ParkMobile app or scan the QR code to pay.

Having the app means you don't even have to get out of your car to pay, so I decided to get it set up right then and there. It literally took me less than 10 seconds to find the free ParkMobile app and I was on my way.

ParkMobile App

The minute I opened the app it was ready to go. Being that it was my first time, I signed up for an account that only required providing an email address and a password. There was no payment information required to sign up, but I'll get to more on that later.

If you notice in the photos of the meters above, the new ParkMobile stickers feature big bold zone numbers. These are important to know, especially if you're like me and don't want to exit your car and walk up to the meter to pay.

ParkMobile

The zone number you see on your meter is what you enter on the app along with your desired parking duration. The max is still two hours, but I have some good news coming.

The next step is proceeding to checkout by hitting the huge green button, which takes you to this next screen that basically spells out all of your parking details for you to confirm along with your method of payment.

ParkMobile

I ended up choosing the Apple Pay option, but you can add multiple methods including PayPal and a debit/credit card. Within two minutes of pulling up to my new contactless meter, I was officially ushered into the next generation of parking in Downtown Lafayette.

ParkMobile

And just like that, the countdown was on. By opening the app, I could check on my remaining parking in real-time and even set a custom reminder that would notify me when my meter was beginning to run out.

ParkMobile

Some may argue that it's late or long overdue, but I'm a firm believer in "better late than never" because during my first parking session I was able to do something I could never do before: extend my time without having to go back to my parking meter.

What's even better is that the alert that I set reminded me while I was in the middle of working on something very important.

Staff Photo

So, instead of running downstairs, I was able to pop open the app and extend my time to take me up until 5 p.m.

ParkMobile

Once I added my time, I hit pay and I was done. Within 30 seconds I was back to my work, and the same could be said if I was enjoying drinks, dinner, or a live show in Downtown Lafayette.

ParkMobile

Not long after, I got another notification that let me know that my time had expired which is also good to know when it comes to avoiding tickets or any type of parking fine.

Staff Photo

Like I said earlier, chances are you've already used a system similar to this in other cities, but now we've got our own in Downtown Lafayette and I would think that LCG could also utilize this system in other areas of the city or any paid parking situation.

Hopefully, my example was helpful but if you ever have any questions about the new meter technology or don't have a smartphone you can always hit up the number provided on the sticker at 877-727-5988.

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