Motorists in the city can now pay for parking through their cell phones for an additional 35 cents per transaction thanks to the city’s mobile payment program.
Asbury Park is the first municipality to use mPay2Park, a year-old company based in Wallingford, Conn., said mPay2Park systems manager Lori Beaudet. After several months of beta testing with the city, the program officially went live on June 22.
Users can start a parking session by first going to the website mpay2park.com, then creating an account. This company differs from other mobile parking services because users create a wallet with a one-time transaction rather than charging their credit or debit account every time they park, Beaudet said, similar to the E-ZPass system for paying highway tolls. For example, a user may put $25 in his or her online wallet to draw from over the course of several days. This creates a one-time credit card fee, rather than one fee for every parking transaction of a few dollars. Those credit card fees are paid by mPay2Park, not the city, which sets the company apart from others like it, Beaudet said — although there is a 35-cent transaction fee for users.
MPay2Park also aims to cut down on parking tickets for its users by sending text message notifications when parking is almost up.
“If you go and park for one hour, mPay2Park will send you a text notification that says you have 10 minutes until you’re in violation,” Beaudet said. “You can click to add more time from your phone.”
The goal is not only to make parking more convenient for motorists, but also for enforcement officers. MPay2Park is “a fully integrated revenue system,” Beaudet said, meaning it covers not only meter payment but also enforcement. Officers will have tablets from which they can view a grid that’s refreshed in real time, every 30 seconds. Each spot is colored differently — green spots have been paid for, and red spots are violations.
The system “will help both ways — the user and the officers,” Beaudet said.
For a previous story on the program, click here.