HonkMobile app delivering more revenue and fewer tickets for drivers, city says

The number of parking tickets for drivers in London fell 16 per cent a year after the city started giving people the option to pay for parking via the HonkMobile app.

In the year since the Honk app launched, the city has issued nearly 2,800 fewer parking tickets

A new report from city hall suggests by-law enforcement officials issued nearly 2,800 fewer parking tickets thanks to the HonkMobile app. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

By law officers are writing fewer tickets for London drivers, while parking revenue has risen almost $400,000 since the city starting giving people the option to pay for parking via the HonkMobile app, according to a new report by city hall. 

A report prepared for the city's civic works committee by municipal law enforcement services manager Annette Drost says revenue from parking meters increased by nearly $400,000 or 26 per cent, from about $1.5 million in September 2016 to March 2017 to $1.9 million over the same period a year later.

During a similar timeframe, London drivers received fewer tickets, with bylaw enforcement officers writing 14,230 citations from September 2017 to April 2018, compared to the 17,012 parking tickets issued over same period a year earlier. 

The report said that while revenue from the HonkMobile app accounted for about 11 per cent of all total parking revenue, it may have played a big hand in reducing the number of tickets issued to London drivers for parking violations.

The decline in tickets may be in part due to the ability for the Honk user to extend their parking duration remotely,-  London civic works committee report

Specifically the report suggests the 2,782 fewer tickets could be due to the fact drivers get notification by text message 10 minutes before the meter is up and can feed their meter by phone, but it couldn't draw a definitive link. 

"The decline in tickets may be in part due to the ability for the Honk user to extend their parking duration remotely by phone, thereby, eliminating the risk of receiving a parking ticket," the report said, noting that with the decrease in the number of parking violations, "it is not possible to know that this is 100 per cent contributable to HonkMobile." 

Fewer parking tickets

The decline in parking tickets, led to a $82,995 decline in revenue from September 2017 to April 2018, which was more than offset by the nearly $400,000 increase in parking fees over a similar timeframe.

The report suggested the increase in parking meter revenues could be attributed the app's flexibility in terms of payment options over simply feeding a meter with pocket change. 

"This may be due, in part, to the ability for the user to increase the length of the parking session midway and/or the ability to use a credit card or PayPal to make a higher payment," the report said. 

The app also notifies users 10 minutes before the parking meter expires, giving the user the ability to extend their parking remotely by phone in order to eliminate the risk of getting a ticket. 

The report calls the launch of the app to be "successful," saying complaints about the new app have been "minimal and less than anticipated," with most of the complaints stemming from "user error," such as entering the wrong license plate, or leaving the vehicle before starting the app.