People looking to park in downtown Sudbury will now have the option to pay with a smartphone.

The city has unveiled the HotSpot parking app, as it continues to make the transition away from coin-fed meters. It'll soon be out with the old and download the new in Greater Sudbury if you want to park your vehicle downtown.

The city's new parking app allows drivers to use the app on their smartphone to pay for metered parking.

Kevin Fowke is the general manager of corporate services with the City of Greater Sudbry.

"We might be a little late to the party in terms of ‘pay by plate,’" but it's a reflection of a larger strategy we have in terms of creating great citizen services powered by technology and data anytime and anywhere." said Fowke.

This is how it works:

  • Pull into a parking spot
  • Find the code number on the meter
  • Enter the code number into the app to start a session

Nathan Armstrong is the vice president of the HotSpot Parking app and says the app is designed to be ‘user-friendly.’

"We have a 24-7 in-house customer service line to call. You'll see the number on the meters, as well as our website. And Sudbury’s going to provide that also, so if you have any questions, email us, call us, you'll get a live person." said Armstrong.

Enforcement will be done with handheld licence plate scanners making it easier for by-law officers.

Melissa Laalo is the city’s by-law manager.

"We don't have the maintenance of the meters and the change that's associated with collecting every day, the change out of the meters, drying the money, and sorting it." said Laalo.

Sudbury was the first city in North America to install parking meters, but now, the app could soon make the piece of ‘nostalgia’ a thing of the past.

"You don't have to have an app. You can still pay by coin, and I think that's an important thing to get out there so people don't have that angst about ‘oh I don't have a cell phone’ or ‘oh, I have a cell phone, but I really don't know how to download apps.’ Don't worry about it, you can still use coins." said Maureen Luoma, of Downtown Sudbury.

No date has been scheduled as of yet to remove the old meters, but the city says they will be taken out.

Downtown Sudbury will pay for that first hour of parking over the next week, but only if you try the app.