By Sarah Varney
The move by Bronxville residents to use Pango, the mobile app to pay for parking, is steadily gaining ground with nearly 500 transactions logged since Dec. 18. Village Administrator James Palmer dubbed the period between then and Jan. 1 as a “soft implementation” that gave the village and Pango time to troubleshoot software or user problems.
“It’s absolutely gaining traction every day especially when you consider the holidays,” Palmer said.
Currently, nearly all of the village’s 1,200 coin-operated meters are now tagged with the Pango emblem that informs parkers that a meter’s code is part of the company’s database. The app was created to give users an alternative way to pay, Palmer said.
The plan to implement Pango was first announced in Octo-
The Israel-based app is free for Android and Apple smartphone users. Area residents can use it to pay for parking or add more time to a space they’re already using. By creating an account with a credit or debit card link, the Pango app handles the transaction automatically.
But the app won’t enable meter feeding. “It only allows you to go up to [the] limit on that particular meter,” Palmer explained.
The history of parking enforcement in Bronxville is surprisingly colorful.
“It’s militant here,” Mary Anne Healey said. Healey, a Bronxville resident who was born and raised in the village, recalled a particularly notorious meter maid who was tough to avoid. “Around the holidays, the local merchants used to hire people dressed up as elves to feed the meters and avoid tickets,” she said. “I think [Pango] could be really useful.”
Several other bystanders said they heard of the app but had not yet downloaded it.
“I will try it. I’m not good at downloading apps, but I’ll try,” said one shopper who declined to give her name to the Review.
Palmer said the village will be doing more outreach with the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce to help spread the word about Pango. Also, starting Jan. 1, all on-street parking meters will require payment from
8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Parking lot spaces will continue to be free after 6 p.m.
However, enforcement of the new hours of operation has been tabled until the chamber and village officials hash out the expanded meter hours, Palmer said.
Although excited about Pango, the chamber is opposed to the new evening meter enforcement and has requested that the policy be reconsidered by the village.
“Fortunately, our village officials are highly dedicated to the business district and are never reluctant to reverse a decision if convinced to do so,” Susan Miele, director of the chamber, wrote in an email to the Review.
The pay-by-app system is currently in use in several municipalities in Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg and Scranton. Similar app-based parking systems are currently in use in New Rochelle, parts of Yonkers and Mount Vernon.[Palmer added that parking kiosks are probably the next step in Bronxville’s parking plans. Parking kiosks with pay stations are probably the next step in Bronxville’s parking plans, Palmer said.