CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Chappaqua train station commuters may no longer have to deal with the stresses of running late and remembering how much time is left on their parking meters.
Town Clerk Jill Shapiro is proposing installing pay-by-phone meters that would allow commuters to extend their parking time while on the train, in the city or anywhere else.
“People don’t have to use it if they don’t want to, but it would give you the option if you got stuck in the city that you could add time to your parking,” she said. “It also sends you an email when your time’s about to run out.”
Shapiro said she was inspired for the idea after seeing the same function used successfully in White Plains.
“They have used it successfully for quite a while, and we’re always looking for things to make things a little bit easier for our commuters,” she said. “Everybody uses these apps now for everything under the sun, and there’s an app for that.”
The pay-by-phone meters work by calling a number that will be posted on the meter and the receipt. First-time users would be prompted to enter their cell phone number, a credit card number and a four-digit PIN code. Users would then enter the station number, the stall number and how much time they wish to add to the meter.
A convenience charge of $.70 would be added on top of the parking fee every time a person renews over the phone. According to Shapiro, those charges are not collected by the town, but the agency that provides the service.
“Maybe the 70 cents is worth not getting a $20 ticket,” Shapiro said.
The cost to the town would be a monthly charge of $7 per machine, and Shapiro is proposing to install two.
“There’s a minimal cost that the town would have to absorb, but I thought that for the price it probably would be worth the convenience for some of our commuters,” she said. “It just seems like the logical next step.”
Shapiro proposed her idea to the New Castle Town Board during Wednesday night’s work session.