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MetroMile to Pay 100 Street Sweeping Tickets; App to Send Cleaning Alerts

By Mike Brockway | April 16, 2014 8:05pm
 Ticket writers hired by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC has written nearly $16 million in Chicago parking tickets since 2010.
Ticket writers hired by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC has written nearly $16 million in Chicago parking tickets since 2010.
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The Expired Meter.com

CHICAGO — Hate street sweeping tickets?

A company called MetroMile has an app it says can help you avoid getting tickets in the future by using GPS to alert you when your car is parked in a street scheduled for street sweeping the next day.

What's more, the company, which is now offering its miles-based auto insurance in the area, says it will pay the street cleaning tickets of 100 drivers.

On April 23, MetroMile will be outside at 435 N. Michigan Ave. from 8 a.m. until early afternoon handing out a free device called a Metronome. At noon, the first 100 drivers who show up with a 2014 Chicago street cleaning ticket and who have downloaded the MetroMile app will get $60 toward paying their tickets, officials said.

MetroMile offers auto insurance coverage based on the miles a motorist actually drives as opposed to the typical insurance plan that charges based on an estimate of miles driven. The device plugs into a diagnostic port on cars to track miles driven and also pinpoints your car location via GPS.

It uses a cellular connection to hook up to iPhones via an app.

The app can remind car owners where they parked, and this week, the company added a feature that alerts drivers if their car is parked in an area where street cleaning is scheduled. The app will notify drivers the night before sweeping is scheduled as well as an hour before street cleaning starts.

The app can also recommend more efficient driving routes to work or better times to travel, the company claims, as well as diagnose what's wrong with the car when the check engine light comes on.

Department of Streets and Sanitation spokeswoman Molly Poppe says their department favors technology that can keep streets scheduled for sweeping free of cars so  sweepers can do their job.

"We support any kind of app to help remind residents to move their cars," Poppe said. "Anytime you can provide an opportunity for residents to be alerted about scheduled city services is always a great thing."