In an effort to make paying for parking easier, Lynbrook officials unanimously voted on March 5 to approve bringing the phone app PayByPhone into the village.
PayByPhone is a free app that allows users to pay for parking on their phones rather than pumping quarters into meters. The company, which was acquired by Volkswagen Financial Services in December 2016, has 17 million users, garners $325 million in annual parking revenue and processes 70 million transactions per year in thousands of cities.
“It’s about bringing Lynbrook into the 21st century,” Mayor Alan Beach said. “You don’t have to walk around with a pocket full of coins anymore,” he added with a laugh.
The app will not replace the parking meters, but rather serve as an alternative for drivers. Because the measure was only recently approved, the determination of which meters will accept phone payments, the amount of fees that will be attached and other details have not been presented.
Adam Kriegel, the director of sales for PayByPhone, said that the app will alert users if the time on their meter is about to expire, and offer them the option of paying for more time via the app rather than returning to the meter by simply pulling up the meter on their phone. It will also record real-time data that will enable village officials to monitor parking trends. They will likely implement limits to how long residents can remain in one spot, however.
“We’re excited to be moving forward, but there are no details to give anyone yet,” said Kriegel, who grew up in Commack. “One of our primary goals here is just following exactly what the village wants so that they’re not changing anything and are just providing a new opportunity.”
Though there is no timetable for the roll out of the app, when it arrives, Lynbrook will become the first Long Island town or village to use PayByPhone. The company was created in 2001, and originally offered patrons the ability to pay for parking via a phone call or text.
Kriegel first got in touch with Village Clerk John Giordano about a month ago, Beach said. On March 5, he presented the app to the village board.
PayByPhone is used in many areas, including Paris, London and Australia. Each place has the option to customize the service. In Miami, residents are offered a discount for parking via the app compared to those who do not live there. In Vancouver, residents are afforded more time to remain in spots than non-residents.
In the next step of the process, representatives of PayByPhone will come into the village and identify the parking meters that will appear on the app.
Beach said the board voted in favor of adding the app because of its convenience. “How many times do you run a little late to the train station or you need to catch your train?” he said. “Now, you can punch your meter in on your phone, even from the train if you want.”