Tech developers target congestion with towing app

Toronto, Ontario — January 20, 2015 — With congestion a hot topic across Toronto, two local tech developers are looking to pitch in with their recently-launched app, Towit.

The brainchild of Michael McArthur and business partner Gregory Meloche, the app’s aim is to attract users and create an online community of residents, police and tow operators to report illegally parked vehicles.

Released January 16, Towit allows users to take photos of a parking offender’s vehicle—including license plate information—and upload them onto the app’s website. Parked vehicles are then marked on a map, allowing parking authorities to easily monitor the site and act accordingly.

McArthur told the Toronto Star that a benefit of Towit is that it will help speed up the vehicle-removal process, with police and towers having access to the same information. He adds that their app may also help track repeat offenders, or pinpoint problem areas in the city.

Both the mayor’s office and Toronto Traffic Services have been contacted by McArthur, who hopes to discuss the app with both parties in the future, as stated in the Star’s report.

Toronto Traffic Services’ Const. Clinton Stibbe says they’re currently assessing the app and have not seen it yet, but are interested in meeting McArthur and his partners. However, Stibbe cautioned that most citizens don’t know the ins and outs of parking bylaws, and that photos would need to clearly document the violation and be timestamped.

Since the launch of the app, users have already started to upload photos online.

“People are frustrated and want to solve this problem. Like cyclists that are mad at people parking in bike lanes, those are . . . people that actually don’t need any more incentive than ‘I am going to do this, I am going to report this person,’ ” McArthur told the Toronto Star. “That’s all it takes. And we have hundreds of interested people already.”

Towit is currently available for Android phones, with plans in place to develop and release the app for iOS, Blackberry and Windows operating systems in the near future.

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