Motorists looking for parking places Downtown will get a boost in coming months as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust expands its real-time parking availability service.
Launched in December 2010, ParkPGH now provides parking data for nine garages in the Cultural District and two on the North Shore.
By the end of March, as many as 25 garages could be included as the trust expands the service from the Cultural District into a wider section of Downtown, said Marc Fleming, the trust's vice president for marketing and communications.
The city parking authority, which already has four garages linked to ParkPGH, voted Thursday to add five more: Oliver Avenue, Mellon Square, First Avenue, Third Avenue and Wood Street-Boulevard of the Allies.
David Onorato, authority executive director, couldn't provide a timetable for getting the five online.
The authority will spend as much as $12,000 on software for the project.
Mr. Fleming said the other garages to be added to the service hadn't been determined.
ParkPGH -- available by website, landline and cellular phone -- began with eight garages and added a ninth early in 2011. The two North Shore garages were added after the T's North Shore Connector debuted in March.
So far, ParkPGH has been used about 250,000 times.
"It's been very popular," Mr. Fleming said.
The services gives the number of spaces in each garage. It also uses color-coded symbols to show whether garages are full, near capacity or have plenty of spaces available.
"The ParkPGH system has received very positive reviews from users (including all 5/5 star ratings on the iTunes store)," Heather Estes, marketing director for East Liberty software firm Deeplocal, said in an email.
The firm manages ParkPGH.
Mr. Onorato said he hopes authority garages in Oakland and Shadyside one day might be added to the program.
ParkPGH information is available by visiting m.parkpgh.org, calling 412-423-8980 or by texting "PARKING" to 412-423-8980.
Joe Smydo: email@example.com or 412-263-1548.