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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Amid downtown parking changes, a refresher for the Buffalo Roam app

The downtown parking changes have created much controversy. In order to pay for parking, you have to use an app.

The new parking changes in downtown Buffalo over the last week has created a lot of controversy and questions. On Friday, the folks who run the parking app that many people will have to use to pay for parking showed off how the app works.

The app is called Buffalo Roam -- it's free in the App Store. 

The company that operates the app knows all about the frustration and questions many people have over the parking changes.

The Buffalo Roam app is already in some parts of the city, including the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. But, with the app expanding downtown and at Canalside, they figured it was a good time for a refresher. 

Users will have to create an account, with credit card information, their name and their vehicle license plate and use the app to pay for parking. 

The city says parking enforcement will get that information in real time, so they know who's paid. 

"Once you get past that registration hump and see how easy it is and convenient and you get the extension alerts and notifications we find that the adaption becomes very strong," said Conor Kelly, the director for Passport Labs, Inc. 

This all comes after the city doubled the hourly rate for parking from one dollar to two, at many spots downtown. It's also extended paid parking hours until 10 p.m. during big downtown events, at places where new signs have gone up.

The city says it hopes to create more than 500 metered parking spots in downtown Buffalo. 

Right now, parking can be purchased per hour. The city would like to allow people to buy shorter time frames of parking, such as 15 minutes and 30 minutes for parking and perhaps, pay for a traffic ticket right there on the app.