MADISON, Wis. -

The city of Madison launched a pilot program Tuesday that lets drivers add time and money to a parking meter through a cellphone app, or by calling a pay-by-cell number.

The program will start at the Buckeye lot downtown this week.

“We envision it would increase compliance and potentially that would increase revenue,” said Thomas Woznick, Madison parking operations manager. “It may decrease citations because people are able to pay in a fashion they haven't been able to pay before.”

Drivers can add time and money to the meters, or cancel parking, from wherever they are. The service does cost 45 cents per payment process.

City parking staff said the new “Park Now” program should reduce the numbers of tickets issued by the city. If the program is a success, it could be implemented city-wide by the end of summer.