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Forgot Quarters? Parking Payments Go Mobile In Stamford

Bureau Chief of Transportation, Traffic & Parking Josh Benson poses for a photo at a parking meter in downtown Stamford.
Bureau Chief of Transportation, Traffic & Parking Josh Benson poses for a photo at a parking meter in downtown Stamford. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — Forget the roll of quarters — and bring out the smartphone.

Stamford officials unveiled a partnership with Parkmobile on Monday. The company’s mobile app allows drivers to pay for thousands of street and garage spaces in Stamford using their smartphones.

Officials hope that the service will save drivers from waiting in lines at parking pay stations in the city — and maybe save them from getting tickets.

“It’s a big time saver,” said Josh Benson, bureau chief of Transportation, Traffic & Parking. “You don’t have to wait in line if you’re a couple minutes late for your movie. If you’re running late for your train, you certainly don’t want to be standing in line at the pay station."

In addition to 3,500 garage spaces, users will be able to pay for parking at 650 parking spaces on the street. Benson said the city would consider rolling out the app to other parking spaces in the future.

Charley DeBow, an official from Parkmobile, said he was proud to bring the service to Stamford.

“We are honored and excited to be offered here in the city of Stamford,” DeBow said, adding that the company already serves the cities of Norwalk and New Haven.

DeBow said that a user can register for the app and start paying for parking in less than 90 seconds. All they need to do is enter a credit card number and their license plate, which the company transmits to parking enforcement so drivers aren’t ticketed, he said.

The service comes at no cost to the city. Convenience fees from the service pay for the program, DeBow said.

Stamford Mayor David Martin said the app would make it easier for drivers to pay for parking and cut down on parking tickets.

“The reality is we’re not issuing tickets to raise revenue,” Martin said. “We’re issuing tickets to improve parking management.”

Interest in mobile parking payments is strong. According to an informal Daily Voice poll conducted last week, approximately 70 percent of respondents said they would pay for parking by a mobile app .

Still want to pay the old-fashioned way? Have no fear. Drivers can still pay by quarters, according to city officials.

For those wishing to use the app, it is available for the iPhone, Android, Windows, Amazon and Blackberry phones.

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