Pay-by-cell at Wildwood meters

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WILDWOOD- Wildwood has gone high-tech with its parking meters.

Parking meters in Wildwood have implemented a pay-by-cell phone option for the second consecutive year. The option allows people to pay for parking, whether for an hour or a day, with a credit card through their phones.

According to Commissioner Tony Leonetti, this option was introduced by the city for the convenience of its visitors.

“It’s really convenient,” he said, “You don’t have to worry about keeping a whole stack of quarters in your car.”

Much like operating a credit card terminal, the city pays a small percentage of every transaction made with the pay-by-cell feature. Leonetti estimated the fee was about 1.5 percent of the total transaction.

“There’s no minimum,” Leonetti said, “If they’re stuck, and they don’t have any change, they can just put that amount on the card.”

The pay-by-cell feature also eliminates the need to run back to the car to feed the meter, Leonetti said.

To use the pay-by-cell feature, visitors can call the local pay-by-cell number listed on the meter, enter the meter number, select the amount of time they wish to park, and a voice or text message will confirm the start of their parking. According to the ParkNow website, the company managing Wildwood’s pay-by-cell meters, the time will not appear on the meter after a customer has paid, and there is a fee of 25 to 45 cents per transaction. The same process can be completed by installing an app on your smartphone through text messages, or a personal web account set up through ParkNow.

According to Leonetti, about 20 percent of those parking in Wildwood are using the pay-by-cell function. While he noted that when visitors pay for parking with their change, the city sees all the revenue, he said that providing this convenience for its visitors was important for the city.

“This is really about convenience we are trying to offer for the people,” he said.

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