Downtown Des Moines parking system includes app and pay stations

ByShannon J. Cortes

May 1, 2022

Parking meters are almost a thing of the past in downtown Des Moines.

Crews are installing a new $3.5 million on-street parking system that uses a mobile payment app and multi-space payment kiosks instead of individual meters.

The last of the 3,500 yards that once dotted downtown sidewalks will be replaced this fall with identifying markers that correspond to parking spaces, according to Devin Perry, a spokesperson for the Des Moines City Manager’s Office.

Until all the meters are replaced, however: “If users park where there is a parking meter, they will still have to use the parking meter,” Perry said.

After:Des Moines will launch a new downtown parking payment system by the end of the month

How does the new ParkDSM payment system work?

Parking meters between 5th and 6th Avenues were replaced with signs for the new ParkDSM payment system last week.

The application for the new system, ParkDSM, is available in the App Store for all Android and Apple mobile devices. About 6,000 people downloaded the ParkDSM app last week, Perry said, which “shows us the demand from users wanting to take advantage of the new parking system.”

ParkDSM is also compatible with the national parking application ParkMobile, which is already used in other cities such as Ames, Minneapolis, Omaha and Milwuakee. If you already have an account with ParkMobile, you can use it to pay for parking in Des Moines without downloading the ParkDSM app.

The national app, which is also available in Spanish, will alert you when your time is almost up and allow you to add extra time without going back to the clock.

Sign numbers correspond to individual parking spaces. Drivers can enter their parking space number on the app or at a pay station. They then select the parking duration and pay with credit cards or quarters.

The new ParkDSM parking payment system went live on Thursday.  April 21th.  Des Moines' 3,500 parking meters will be replaced by the pay-as-you-go system in early fall.

The payment terminals, which will be located in almost every downtown block and will use three languages ​​– English, Spanish and French – accept neighborhoods and all major forms of debit and credit cards.

Visit for more information on the new parking system.

Philip Joens covers breaking news for The Des Moines Register. He can be reached at 515-443-3347 at [email protected] or on Twitter @Philip_Joens.