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Mamaroneck moves toward mobile parking payments

Parking on Mamaroneck Avenue is about to get a lot smarter, as the village of Mamaroneck narrows its search for a company to set up smartphone-enabled parking payments.

According to Assistant Village Manager Dan Sarnoff, the village is “99.9 percent” sure that it will choose Passport, a Delaware-based software company, as the parking app provider to help modernize its on-street meters and parking lots.

According to a memo from Village Manager Rob Yamuder, a potential deal with the company Parkmobile dissipated after lack of responsiveness from the company coupled with a preference for Passport’s technology capabilities. Sarnoff said there is little cost to the village since there is no hardware and Passport would generate its revenue through transactions.

The app, which can be downloaded for free on any Internet-enabled smartphone, will afford users the ability to pay for parking on their phones and even add time to their metered parking remotely, if needed. It will charge users 25 cents per transaction.

“It’s the future of parking,” Sarnoff said. “I have a grand idea that the next time we buy parking meters is the last time we buy parking meters.”

In Westchester County, the use of mobile app-powered parking payments has gained popularity in recent years with downtown business districts in White Plains, Yonkers, Bronxville and Tarrytown employing their use.

According to a study of industry professionals by the International Parking Institute, in 2015—the latest year for which data is available—the prevalence of mobile app parking systems grew by 47 percent, while 77 percent of adults in the U.S. say they own a smartphone, according to Pew Research

While the village finalizes a parking app provider, a decision on what to do with outdated coin-operated parking meters currently stationed on Mamaroneck Avenue has yet to occur. In October 2017, the village Board of Trustees voted to retrofit multi-space meters in parking lots with new and more user-friendly machines.

Upgrading the village’s parking meters is an issue that has dragged on for years after backlash against the potential installation of multi-space meters on Mamaroneck Avenue in 2015. An ad hoc parking committee and residential survey recommended single-space meters, but the Board of Trustees has yet to bring that recommendation to a vote.

According to Sarnoff, the village will eventually install new single-space smart meters on Mamaroneck Avenue that are capable of resetting the metered time when a patron leaves a space, but has yet to decide on a specific company.

-Reporting by James Pero

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