New app makes parking simpler

One of the first lessons I ever learned at USC was this: “If you see a parking spot and it looks too good to be true, it is.” Little did I know how valuable this advice was. Sophomore year, as I tearfully sat staring at the four parking tickets I had accumulated in only two months, that lesson finally sunk in.

We all know finding a parking spot is one of the most consistent struggles you will face here at USC. Parking garages are expensive, and no one ever has enough quarters to feed a meter long enough to park through a few hours of classes.

Well, now you don’t need quarters to park at a meter. All you need is a phone, a credit or debit card and the PassportParking app.

PassportParking is an app for smartphones that allows you to pay for meter parking with a debit or credit card. Not only is it super convenient, but the process is super simple.

You download the app and sign in with Facebook, phone number or email address. You then select a pin number to ensure your account's privacy.

On the meter where you parked, there will be a four-digit zone number on a blue and black sticker paired with directions on how to access PassportParking. Enter the zone number, and then add a vehicle.

To add a vehicle, you will need your license plate number, the state it’s registered with and a vehicle friendly name (I just use my own.) Once the vehicle is added, you will be able to select the time frame in which you plan to park at the meter.

Then you add your card information and for a small convenience fee you will be ready to park. It’s that simple.

The app saves all of your vehicle and card information. The next time you use it, it will make for an even easier parking experience.

Just like a meter, you may only be able to pay for up to two or five hours. However, the app provides you with a clock that counts down how much time you have left before your meter expires. It even sends timely reminders to your phone to let you know when it’s time to reload or go home. 

One of the most beneficial parts of the app is when your meter does expire, you can pay for more parking time without even walking all the way back to your car.

If you don’t have a smartphone, don’t worry. PassportParking can be accessed by web at, where you will follow a very similar process to pay for parking.

So next time you have 10 minutes before class is about to start, and you know you will have no hope finding a spot in Bull Sreet Garage, snag yourself a meter spot, download the app and park completely stress free.

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