RIDGEWOOD, N.J.– No quarters? If you're parking in downtown RIdgewood, just pull out your phone. ParkMobile, a smart phone app, offers an alternative.
Users who download the app create an account and input a method of payment, as well as their license plate.
Each meter in the downtown includes a sticker with a four digit code parkers must enter to begin their session, which they can keep track of through the app or through e-mail and text alerts.
The meter will read “expired,” but Ridgewood parking enforcement officers use smartphone technology to confirm which drivers are using ParkMobile to pay.
Joe Auslander from Teaneck, who works at White Maple Cafe, swears by the app.
“It’s easier than running out and feeding the meter every couple hours,” he said.
Justin Sisti, on the other hand, stopped using ParkMobile because of the transaction fee.
“The transaction fee costs almost as much as an hour costs,” the Ramsey barista said.
Auslander contends that "the convenience is worth the extra fee.”
ParkMobile receives the transaction fee, and the rest goes to the village, said Mayor Paul Aronsohn, who uses the app himself.
“It’s so convenient because I never have quarters,” Aronsohn said.
Two years ago, a former village inspector admitted stealing $460,000 in quarters. That “added an additional impetus to move away from quarters,” the mayor said. “But we recognize some people prefer to pay with coins.”
Last year, village employees handled approximately 192,000 fewer quarters, Sonenfeld said.
Aronsohn said he wants to see the technology used at a Hudson Street parking garage if it's built.
“We’ll treat it like a parking lot, without the ticket machine and a lifting arm,” he said.
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