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Greenwich Commuters Applaud Pay-by-Phone Parking

For train commuters who leave their cars in Greenwich parking lots after time on their meters has expired, parking tickets are a hassle. It's no wonder daily riders are giving positive feedback to the town's new plan for a pay-by-phone parking system.

"I don't see how it could hurt anyone," said Renee Hamlen from Cos Cob, who was taking the train to Manhattan for work Wednesday morning. "It gives people flexibility, which is a good thing given how busy everyone here is."

The town's parking services department will introduce a pay-by-phone system to extend meters in January. The system will be introduced only in the Horseneck, Island Beach Soundview Drive and Town Hall parking lots where there are electric pay stations.

A convenience charge of 25 to 35 cents will be added onto the town's parking fees for the lots. "Everyone can get caught up in the city, and it seems convenient. I'd be willing to pay a little extra for it," said Will Swint, a commuter who works in Manhattan and just moved to Greenwich.

Town parking services Director Allen Corry said the town is contracting with Verrus Mobile Technologies, based in Vancouver, to allow the use of Visa, MasterCard and Discover to pay for parking, according to published reports.

The system will allow for convenience and leeway for commuters if their routine changes. Some suggested an even more suitable option might be an online system. "I lived in London for awhile, and in some lots you could go online to pay for or extend parking," said Swint. "It would be great if they started that here, too, at some point." Currently, the town has no plans to implement a smart phone application or online feature for extending parking time.

Be part of the conversation: What do you think about the town's plan to introduce pay-by-phone time extension for parking lots in central Greenwich? Should it be extended to other commuter areas such as Cos Cob or Old Greenwich? Let us know by commenting below or by emailing ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us .

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