(TNS) -- A smart phone-based service aims to help Orlando residents and visitors find a place to park by using the city's new "smart meters" to map the open spots.
The app, ParkMe, is available on Apple, Android and Windows phones, and features an interactive map that shows where to find available parking across downtown Orlando, including open garages, lots and metered spots.
The parking options appear as markers on the map, which also indicate the hourly price. The markers are color-coded by cost: green for the cheapest parking, red for the priciest.
For some lots or garages, marked in blue on the map, users also have the option to reserve their parking in advance.
The app works with the "smart" meters installed by the city in December, which can tell if a space is occupied or not.
ParkMe uses that data to show where to find vacant spaces.
The app, announced this week, also works with another service that debuted in Orlando in March, Park Mobile, which lets drivers pay for metered parking from a smart phone, either by logging into PayPal or linking the app to a credit card.
City officials say the apps will help reduce traffic congestion, because drivers will spend less time circling to find parking.
In a statement Tuesday, Mayor Buddy Dyer hailed the smart meters as "part of our continued efforts to provide our residents and visitors with the latest in technology and transportation options to keep Orlando moving."
ParkMe, a California-based service, calls itself the "leading provider of real-time parking information," tracking spaces in 81,000 worldwide locations in 57 countries, its website says.
©2015 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.