People parking in the resort will be able to use the app for each of the city’s 1,800 on- or off-street parking spaces, and will also be able to pay by calling a toll-free number on green meter stickers.
Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato said Monday, May 2 that the app is expected to launch in Ocean City this weekend.
“The new technology provides another convenience for our residents and guest,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in a press release.
Parking violations officers will also be able to see that a motorist has paid through the Parkmobile app.
Donato said the city looked into bringing a mobile parking app to the resort for last year, but decided to hold off, because officers would have had to carry two devices – one on which to check meters and another to issue tickets.
This summer, officers are able to do both on one device issued by the city.
Donato said that when a customer pays for parking on the app, the time won’t be reflected on the meter. The meters will still indicate that time has expired, Donato said.
Using the app, officers will have to enter the license plate number of each vehicle parked next to an expired meter to see if parking is paid up. If they see through the app payment wasn’t made, a ticket will be issued, Donato said.
Donato also said customers who use the app will pay an additional fee of 45 cents, which will be paid to Parkmobile. Ocean City will still take in all other parking meter revenue, Donato said.
He also noted that the resort changed over to parking meters compatible with credit cards in recent years, and said launching the app is another way to make paying for parking more convenient for visitors.
Donato said he’s not sure whether initiating a mobile app for parking meters will affect the city’s meter revenue.
“When credit cards are being utilized, especially for smaller-dollar purchases, the tendency is to max out the meter so you don’t have to worry about it,” Donato said. “In some cases, you have some excess revenue, but that’s not really a thought process behind introducing this new parking option.”
Of the $3 million in parking revenue collected by the city last year, Donato said about $1 million came from meters.
To use the app, customers must register either by downloading the app through their phone’s app store at www.parkmobile.com.
“We are very happy to introduce our service to Ocean City,” Jon Ziglar, Parkmobile CEO, said in a statement. “Our service provides customers with an enhanced parking experience by eliminating the need to use a card or coins at the meter, making paying easier and more efficient than ever.”
Among other perks, the service allow customers to receive alerts when time on their meter is about to expire and extend their time without having to return to the meter.
Parkmobile, headquartered in Atlanta, has had its services used in more than 2,000 locations across the country, according to the release.
Wildwood Crest began using Parkmobile in 2014, while Wildwood launched the app in 2015, according to published reports.