Port Jefferson officials say the village’s new contactless parking kiosks have already shown increased usage in the short time the program has been active.
Port Jeff has been using Honk, a contactless parking payment company, since July 1. The company allows customers to pay for parking in two ways, one by downloading the phone app and the other by tapping their phone or scanning a barcode on a HonkTAP station.
In a release, the app company said that last week, 1,227 people tapped to pay for parking. Kevin Wood, the village’s parking and mobility administrator, said the tap action accounted for 43% of total parking sessions last week as well. Wood added that the amount of growth they’ve seen so far was primarily because an app is not needed to pay.
“The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need for digitized, touch-free parking payments,” Wood said. “Usage has skyrocketed and our help center has received very positive feedback.”
The technology also allows an option for drivers to receive text reminders when their parking session is set to expire and to add more time to their spot remotely.
“We’re proud to partner with Port Jefferson, and to help provide a safe, welcoming experience for visitor parking,” said Michael Back, Honk President and CEO in a release. “It’s never been more important for tourist destinations like Port Jefferson to offer easy, touch-free parking payments.”
The village sees an average of 250,000 visitor parking sessions a year, and parking in the village’s more than 600 spots has become one of the most hot button issues for the community, both residents and businesses. The village is planning to soon start construction on a new parking lot on Barnum Avenue next to Caroline Avenue to add 44 new spots. That project is expected to cost a total of $814,069, with an existing $300,000 bond, $200,000 grant and $314,069 in parking funds.