Wildwood considering parking kiosks to replace meters

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WILDWOOD- To increase parking revenue, city officials are considering installing parking kiosks to replace meters throughout the city.

While no ordinance or resolution has been introduced, representatives from DEVO and Associates gave a presentation on the company’s parking kiosks at the commissioner’s meeting Wednesday.

Along with numerous jokes referencing the New Wave band Devo, which had a hit with “Whip It” in 1980, commissioners indicated they see potential in the idea.

“You’re seeing them become more and more part of the landscape,” Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said.

DEVO and Associates’ kiosks are also used in North Wildwood, and Commissioner Pete Byron said North Wildwood’s mayor had suggested the city look into installing kiosks to up parking revenue.

“In talking with North Wildwood, and Mayor Bill Henfey, he had mentioned how successful these kiosks were,” Byron said. “North Wildwood is laid out differently than we are, but I thought, why not look into it, there may be an opportunity here to increase our collections.”

Henfey had told the Leader previously that the city’s parking revenue had spiked to $850,000 last year, and attributed the increase to installing parking kiosks. Wildwood’s parking revenue was $680,000 last year, according to Commissioner Tony Leonetti.

“That’s actually fantastic, when based on previous year’s collections,” Byron said at the meeting.

David Borgese, who represented DEVO during the presentation with Daryl Volgarino, said that the kiosks increase revenue because of the option to pay with a credit card. In other cities, he said there was anywhere from 10 to 22 percent increase in parking revenue when kiosks were installed. One reason for the increase, he said, is that when visitors pay for parking with a credit card, many will choose to pay for a whole day’s parking, rather than a few hours, because it is a flat rate.

“If you use a credit card, you’re going to buy more hours than you need, because it’s more convenient than carrying around a pocketful of change,” Byron said.

Currently in Wildwood, drivers can use a cell phone to pay for parking at any meter, using a credit card and the meter’s number. Coin operated meters are still the most commonly used method of payment, according to the public works department. 

The city would have two options if commissioners decided to install kiosks: parking would become “pay by space” or “pay and display.” If “pay by space” were used, the spaces in the city would be numbered, and visitors would key their space number into the machine to pay for parking. With the “pay and display” option, visitors would display a receipt in their car to prove that they had paid for parking. Borgese said that usually, “pay by display” works best for street parking and “pay by space” is best for garages.

In regards to the “pay and display” option, visitors could take leftover time on the meter with them to another spot in the city. Currently, North Wildwood uses the “pay and display” method.

The “pay by space” method, however, might mean even more revenue for the city. If someone has remaining time on their meter and leaves their parking spot, the next person who parks in that same spot won’t be able to tell there is leftover time, and will pay to park, Borgese said.

“Once you leave, if you’ve still got $4 left on the space, it’s gone,” Borgese said, noting that the next transaction made at the machine will override the previous one.

While the kiosks have been successful in North Wildwood, Troiano pointed out that North Wildwood has only one privately owned parking lot in its city, while Wildwood has 19.

“If those lots weren’t there, can you imagine the revenue we would generate?” Troiano said. “So you can’t talk apples for apples when you’re talking oranges and bananas. It’s night and day.”

The kiosks are about 300 pounds, are armor plated, and anchored into the ground. Some, Borgese said, are solar powered. Each meter costs between $7,500 to $13,000, and Borgese said the city would use about one kiosk for every 10 spaces. According to the public works department, there are 600 meters in the city. 

The kiosks may also be beneficial if on March 5 voters decide to implement beach fees in the Wildwoods. According to Borgese, these kiosks would also allow beachgoers to pay for their tags at the machine, then present a receipt to a badge checker to claim their tag.

“In other cities, what they want to do is take the cash out of the hands of young kids, running up and down the beach collecting beach tag fees,” Borgese said. “They don’t want to take the jobs necessarily, they want to get rid of the cash.”

The commissioners did not make any decision about adding parking kiosks at the meeting, but did say they would continue looking into them as a possibility.

“There are a ton of cities that have increased their revenue by a lot by going to a system like this,” Borgese said. “The best way to do it is to start small and work your way up.”

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.shorenewstoday.com. 


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