Parking in the village of New Paltz could soon get a tech boost, without replacing the tried-and-true mechanical meters. The Whoosh! app, already in use in Kingston and soon to be debuted on the SUNY campus, may become an alternative for parking payment in the village, as well.
The existing meters are mechanical, and it’s expensive to change the amount being collected. However, overlying the Whoosh! app on the meter system would allow users to receive notices when time is nearly expired, and to renew from a mobile phone. Mayor Tim Rogers spoke with Kingston officials, who advised that the app was only down one day in the past year. Even then, it’s still possible to use the meters.
The location of the user when making initial payment is the datum used to determine which spot is being used, Rogers said, but virtually adding more coins can be done from anywhere until the hours limit for that spot is reached. Using the app — for which the driver is charged 35 cents an hour — means a car might be legally parked next to an expired meter. Village parking enforcement officers will be able to verify who’s paid up using their existing handheld devices.
Once the system is in place, it could allow for flexible pricing options, such as providing discounts to village residents.
In the Plattekill Avenue lot a new solar-powered kiosk will be installed. Made by the Whoosh! manufacturer, it’s compatible with the app and will also accept coins and credit card payments. The kiosk will cost $11,323, with an additional $323 setup fee which Rogers found competitive with similar technology. In addition to 35 cents an hour to the user, the makers of Whoosh! will also be collecting a $57 monthly fee from taxpayers.