iPhone App Finds Best Parking Deal

Application finds garages, displays parking rates, keeps track of parking meter time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parking in Chicago can be confusing and expensive, but Naperville’s Nick Capizani has an app for that.

    He created the Chicago Parking App for the iPhone and the iPod Touch out of a personal need. When he and his girlfriend would drive into the city they never knew where to park.

    "I’d park at the closest one which turns out to be the most expensive one," Capizani explained.

    But Capizani's application has essentially catalogued the city’s entire parking inventory. More than 300 garages are listed, complete with rates for hourly, daily and monthly parking.  The app's uses the iPhone's built-in GPS, helping you find the nearest garage.  Even the early bird specials are there, listed in order of how good a deal they are.

    Street parking is covered, too.  A map displays the various rates in each city zone and can be zoomed-in to find the closest fare box.

    The GPS feature also works in reverse. If you forget where you parked your car, either in a garage or on the street, Capizani’s app will lead you back to it with turn-by-turn directions.  The app even includes a timer and can let you keep track of how much time is left on your space.

    Capizani said he's pleased with the response he's gotten since debuting the appl.

    The $1.99 app can pay for itself the first time you use it.

    "One guy told me he was going to Chicago.  He parked across the street from his usual lot for $10 less so it saved him some money," Capizani said.

    Capizani said the parking app took him almost four months to develop.

    He is set to graduate from Purdue with a computer degree, but said he already has his next iPhone app in mind: one designed to help drivers navigate Illinois’ Tollways.

    Download the Chicago Parking App from the iTunes App Store.