Chamber Prepares Public for Rehoboth Beach Parking Changes
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - Pay for parking by credit card? There's an app for that.
Prepare beach visitors for the switch? There's a public awareness campaign for that.
The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce is leading efforts to educate the public on changes planned for summer parking in Rehoboth Beach.
In a partnership with the city, the chamber plans to distribute thousands of posters and signs to advise visitors of the new credit card process.
"We want to make sure we've done everything we can to make the transition easy and for them to know if they don't like the technology, they don't want to use the new system, the quarters are still there," said chamber president Carol Everhart.
The meters will continue to accept quarters; however, credit card transactions must be completed through a mobile application downloaded on smart phones called "Parkmobile." The app is free to download but each transaction will cost $0.50, of which the city will receive $0.15. The service can be used for any of the city's 2,200 metered spots, including meters that previously did not accept credit cards, the city said.
A representative from Parkmobile was in Delaware on Monday to brief city employees and members of the public on the changes.
"The app is very quick and easy to use," said Parkmobile marketing director Tina Dyer. "Once you download the mobile app, all you have to do is tap it and you can start a parking transaction."
Dyer said between three and five ambassadors would be available over Memorial Day weekend to spread word of the change and answer questions.
"It's probably the easiest way to make sure people are using the system correctly," said Dyer. "If there's any questions, they can answer those questions as well."
Parking is big business in Rehoboth. Projected parking meter revenue for the 2011-2012 budget was roughly $2.5 million, the largest source of revenue for the city and nearly one-fifth of the overall budget, according to budget documents.
Mayor Sam Cooper said the city will soon remove the existing credit card readers off meters, which have been confusing and problematic for years. The existing readers relied on wireless Internet connectivity. Connection issues left drivers confused and frustrated. The mobile app service means the city will not have to pay to replace the existing meters.
The city is encouraging visitors to register before arriving. Drivers can use the app in other cities where Parkmobile is established.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:51 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:51:15 GMT
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