QR codes debut for Montgomery Co. parking

It seems that new parking meter technology is introduced almost monthly in the Washington region, with pay-by-phone and other updates spreading from city to city.

Now the Montgomery County Department of Transportation is adding Quick Response (QR) codes to its meters.

What are those? You’ve probably seen the funny-looking square bar codes on signs and in magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post. Using free software on your smartphone, you scan the QR codes to reveal additional information.

In this case, Montgomery will use the QR code on meters to identify the parking space number and reduce the possibility of human error when using the pay-by-cell technology.

A QR code pilot program began July 27 in the Woodmont Triangle Garage at St. Elmo and Cordell avenues in Bethesda, officials said.

“The pay-by-cell program has already proven to be tremendously popular with our customers; more than 163,000 transactions have occurred already this year by folks using their cellphones to pay for their parking, MCDOT Director Arthur Holmes said in a statement. “This latest features just makes it that much faster and easier to use.”

The code can be scanned using the ParkNOW! app, which is available from iTunes and the Android Market. Officials said it will also be available soon from the Blackberry App World.

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelbolden.

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