Parking in the village? There will be an app for that.
Port Jefferson Village officials decided on Monday to award a bid to upgrade its parking meter system, which will soon allow those parking in the village to pay for their spot with their cellphones.
While the 22 new meters aren't expected to be installed before summer, the software upgrades allowing users to pay by phone should be forthcoming.
The Village Board awarded a bid to New Jersey-based Metric Parking totaling nearly $160,000 on Monday - the lowest bid accepted in response to a request for proposals. Company representative John Morgan said at the meeting that the meters, once ordered, should take about 12 weeks to arrive.
The village collects about $300,000 annually for parking in the village. Trustee Larry LaPointe, who sits on the village Parking Committee,
"We wanted to get an idea if the technology has improved over the last five years," he said. "The industry standard for credit cards has gotten much better, and we're trying to figure out what enhancements are possible."
In addition to paying with a smartphone - which would read a QR code on site, and include parking spot numbers, to determine where users are paying from - those paying by phone will also have the option to call Metric's pay-by-phone number and enter their locations through an automated system. Each time users pay by phone (which would include using the app), a 40-cent convenience fee is charged.
Morgan added on Monday that Metric currently has software under review with AT&T that would give the meters 3G capability. The meters will run on 2G, and if/when the 3G software is approved, Metric will upgrade the meters free of charge to increase speed and reliability.
In addition to the $160,000 for the cost of the meters, the village is expected to incur roughly $9,000 in costs to install the meters on concrete bases.