Cape May Parking There’s An App For That. **** Updated
So what else is new in Cape May? There is a new solution to the age-old problem of parking meters. The new administration of Cape May City has been operating with vision and cooperation. The city has revisited the Parkmobile solution of paying for parking spaces. Cape May parking–there’s now an app for that.
Insert press release statement here:
“Parkmobile is excited to introduce our services to the City of Cape May, further expanding our Northeast footprint and beach locations” said Jon Ziglar, CEO of Parkmobile. “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Cape May to offer this technology—offering drivers an easier, more convenient way to pay for parking. We hope users will appreciate being able to use our app to simply pay from their phones instead of searching for coins to park.” (Remember that blog about quarters on a meter.)
Above quote translated: Big national company helps out small town with Cape May parking problem.
There you have it. With the stroke of a pen, what was difficult to get accomplished from the previous administration is now in place. As a former committee person on parking, I do remember the one impediment to using Parkmobile was the sketchy cell phone service in parts of Cape May. More about that later.
Mayor Clarence “Chuck” Lear acknowledged the practicality of the Parkmobile program for Cape May’s residents and visitors, saying, “People can relax over dinner or while they are strolling around town, knowing they do not have to rush back to feed a parking meter. It’s a great convenience.”
Yes, Mayor Lear, it really is a great convenience. Look at the expression on my friend Ginny’s face:
So how does it work? How will the meter maids and police know who uses it and who fakes it?
The City’s Qualified Purchasing Agent and Information Technology Manager, Dan Shustack, who coordinated installation of the system, commented, “Parkmobile offers a state of the art approach to metered parking, and we hope locals and tourists will find it a useful amenity.”
It’s quite simple to use. Basically, download the app from Itunes. (There is also an Android version.) An account is created with just an email address and a password. You’ll be prompted for a license plate and state of registration and entering a credit card to pay the account. You can alternatively use pay pal to pay for Cape May parking. That’s it.
Caution: Don’t be alarmed, the parking meter will not show activation, just the APP
When Ginny’s App alerted her she simply added another hour to her meter right from the table at 410 Bank Street.
Each parking location in Cape May is zoned. Park your car, enter the zone into the app and choose how long you wish to park. If you pay for too much time–too bad. You can’t get a refund. In addition to standard parking meter charges there is a $.35 cent transaction fee. Parkmobile calls this a convenience fee.
Our beloved meter maids and summer police officers are issued handheld iPhone-like devices to scan zones for Parkmobile users. Once you pay by App you obviously wont have time on the meter or place a stub on your dashboard. So when the parking official enters a particular zone they check the App registration for active users.
At any given time, asking officers reveals that three, to a dozen users in any parking zone.
As Mayor “Chuck” Lear stated, it really is a great convenience. Users can pay from the beach or the table where they are having dinner. One official told me, the only glitch, is in the refresh rate from the data-base. Remember the original impediment above? As long as the wireless networks keep up their signals and the in-season demand from visitors on the wireless doesn’t slow things down, the system will work fine. There will always be quarters.