New Brunswick to use Parkmobile app for easier parking
For visitors to New Brunswick, it is a hassle to run back and forth refilling parking meters. The inconvenience is greater for Rutgers students who have to leave their lectures mid-way to input money in their meters.
The New Brunswick Parking Authority has introduced a new way to pay for metered street parking.
Using Parkmobile, visitors will now be able to pay and refill their parking meters straight from their smartphones, said Tina Dyer, marketing manager of Parkmobile.
“With Parkmobile, members can initiate a parking transaction and pay for parking using a mobile app,” Dyer said. “It eliminates the need to swipe a card, feed coins to a meter or stuff bills into a slot.”
Parkmobile is a pay-by-phone system for on-street meters. Customers can dial a toll-free phone number on the meter, said Mitchell Karon, executive director of the New Brunswick Parking Authority. Customers then provide their Parkmobile online account number, and their card will automatically be charged.
“The Parkmobile app is a free download from iTunes, Google Play, Windows or Blackberry Markets,” Karon said. “Customers can then go online and create their Parkmobile account, inputting their credit card information and license plate numbers for easy future use.”
Karon said although the app is free, standard parking meter charges will still apply, as well as a 35-cent user fee each time a customer uses a Parkmobile meter.
“Part of Parkmobile’s service is that members receive an alert by email, SMS text or push notification when parking is about to expire,” Dyer said. “Members can then extend a parking session remotely without the need to return to the meter or risk getting a citation.”
Virginia Povich, media director of New Brunswick Night Out, an organization that promotes events and special promotions in New Brunswick, said she believes the app will help bring back many people who refrain from coming to New Brunswick due to past experiences with parking tickets.
Karon said installing Parkmobile in New Brunswick will not only help customers avoid getting parking citations, but its convenience will be great for New Brunswick businesses as well.
“Parking is going to be a lot more convenient for customers,” Karon said. “Many times, people pull up to a meter and realize they need eight to 10 quarters for a meter, and most people don’t carry that kind of change on them anymore. The times have changed.”
Povich’s only concern is the possibility of people extending their time and hogging the available parking spots, meaning that no one else will be able to find parking.
“I hope they are not going to allow people to extend the legal amount of time a person can stay in a parking spot,” Povich said.
An extension of more than the already legal allotted time of meter parking in New Brunswick will not be allowed, Karon said.
“A four-hour parking spot is still a four-hour parking spot, you cannot exceed the legal time of a parking spot,” Karon said.
He said she believes that Parkmobile will be beneficial to Rutgers students with cars on campus.
“Let’s say you have class and you don’t want to leave in the middle of a lecture to throw money back in the meter, you can just use your phone instead,” Karon said.
The NBPA is expecting to implement full use of Parkmobile in New Brunswick on Oct. 21.
Parkmobile was developed in Europe in 1999 and began U.S. deployments in 2009. Dyer said since then it has become very popular in the U.S. as well as in other countries.
“Today, over 1.5 million members rely on Parkmobile to simplify an essential daily activity: parking,” Dyer said. “Our service is available in over 500 on-street, off-street and gated parking locations in 34 states in the U.S.”
Dyer said Parkmobile would also expand its solution to other parking-related services that allow people to reserve a parking space at venues for a concert or game, including VIP parking.
“Parking in New Brunswick is going to be a lot more convenient for people now” Karon said.