Apps for Chicago Drivers: ParkChicago and WGN Traffic app

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On Tuesday, Chicago began testing a program that allows people to pay for parking with a smartphone app.

The free app for iOS and Android, ParkChicago, will eventually expand to all metered parking spaces throughout the city, according to a news release. But for now, the app is just being used in limited area in the West Loop bound by Washington Street to the north, Monroe Street to the south, Halsted Street to the east, and Racine Avenue to the west.

The app is very simple in its design and very easy to use. Before you can use the app, however, you have to make an account and put a credit card on file.  The app will immediately charge you $20 for future parking.

One of the great things about this app:  You’ll get a notification 10 minutes before your meter is about to expire, and then you can add more time through the app.

If you park for less than two hours, you’ll have to pay a 35 cents convenience fee.

For a detailed look at ParkChicago, check out Chicago Tribune reporter Jon Hilkevich’s story here.

More info: (Note: you can also use the website — instead of the app — to pay for parking)

If you’re a Chicago area driver, WGN-TV now has an app to help you with your commute.

The best part about the WGN Traffic app is easy access to live updates from our @ChicagoDrives Twitter accounts. Powered by WGN traffic reporters Erin McElroy and Sarah Jindra, the app has the latest travel information during peak travel times.

The interactive map is useful, and you can get travel times for CTA, Pace and Metra with one click.

The app is free and available for iPhone. We’re working on the Android version of the app now.

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