In October commuters who park their cars in the lot behind the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., will have a new way to pay their daily fee. Instead of feeding cash into the pay box at the lot, commuters can simply whip out their smartphones and pay using an app that will automatically deduct the fee from their bank accounts.
It’s also a way for the village to collect a little more revenue, as using the app to pay for parking will trigger a 50-cent fee that will be split between the village and the company that created the app.
“Every evening as individuals pay through the mobile device, the money is sent and deposited into the village’s account every evening,” Village Manager Riccardo Ginex told members of the village board at their meeting Aug. 27. “And on a monthly basis, the village will remit 25-cents per parking stall [per use] back” to the company.
The village’s partnership with a North Carolina-based company called Passport Parking blossomed from a cold call made by a sales representative, said Ginex.
The idea of a cashless payment option was appealing to Ginex, not only because it’s more convenient for users, but could end up aiding the village employees who handle commuter parking fees on a daily basis.
Ginex told village trustees that “staff spends hours counting coins” and someone is tasked with going out and manually collecting the money from the pay box and manually determining who has paid to park and who hasn’t.
While that’s not likely to change with the option of paying via a mobile device, that process could be made easier, said Ginex.
The app will allow users to pay three different ways, via the app, through a voice system or text message. When any of those options are used, the $1.50 commuter parking fee will be deducted along with the 50-cent convenience fee. The village is calling its half of the fee an “administrative fee,” although it’s unclear what administrative tasks the use of the app will add.
Ginex said that his goal is to begin offering the cashless option by Oct. 1. Signage advertising information about the app will be posted by the payment box in the parking lot. Fliers about the program recently were distributed to commuters, Ginex added.
Now that there’s a way for the village to collect parking fees on a mobile device, Ginex said he’s investigating creating a second commuter parking lot on the site of the former Brookfield Moose property, which the village owns, at 4000 DuBois Blvd., across the street from the Congress Park train station.
Ginex said he’s getting quotes on how much it would cost to patch, sealcoat and stripe the DuBois Boulevard lot. There’s no timetable for making those repairs, he said, although “it’d be nice if we could implement them at the same time.”
At Congress Park, the plan would be to only offer the cashless option. Ginex said the plan is to charge $2 per day to park at that lot, plus the 50-cent fee to be split between Passport Parking and the village.