Grand Rapids’ new parking app Motu raising concerns among drivers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s been less than a week since Grand Rapids switched from using Parkmobile to its new parking app called Motu, but the complaints are already coming in.

“Pay attention to the comments people are making [about Motu],” said Megan Henke of Caledonia. “We have such a fantastic downtown, you just need people to utilize it as much as possible.”

Drivers said a concern is using Motu is having to pay for a 15-minute minimum.

“I think that is frustrating,” said Henke. “Sometimes you’re just running in somewhere really quick and then you’re paying for something you’re not even utilizing, so it doesn’t make much sense.”

“I work for a company called Joy Run that’s a delivery service so not having that stop and go is not cool because really all we need is a couple minutes to run inside,” said Cameron Lintz of Allendale. “[The 15-minute minimum is] definitely not a benefit of the new thing.”

The Grand Rapids mobile parking services manager Josh Naramore said the solution is putting coins in the meter.

“We had to set a time limit associated with it,” said Naramore. “The majority of transactions we had in the system were more than an hour.”

But it’s not just the minimum drivers are concerned with. People are also frustrated there is also a maximum which is anywhere from up to 2 to 4 hours depending on the meter.

Naramore said that’s always been the case, it just hasn’t been enforced.

“The big reason for that is because it’s also city ordinance and we were going to have to make that change anyways with Parkmobile,” said Naramore. “It should never have been allowed because it’s not actually what’s best for a lot of the businesses in the area.”

Naramore said the switch to Motu was made to improve accessibility for everyone.

“With Motu, it’s actually, if you’re a native Spanish speaker, and you have that setting on your phone, it’ll translate that way,” said Naramore. “Parkmobile did not offer translation services. Secondly, with Motu, you can actually use cash and fill the wallet, you don’t need to use a credit card.”

If you have any question or concerns, call the city’s 311 customer service line or 616-456-3000.

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  • C

    Ever since Josh Narramore was named the power of one in parking decisions, pragmatism and public opinion has become nonexistent in this city. In hiring him, the city made a serious mistake.

  • Old Bob

    Bend over and grab your knees. The city is going to fix you right up. I am done going downtown, just that simple. If Parkmobile, not going to work I am not going to be parking in the city.

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