by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Have you ever stood in front of a Metra parking payment machine, punching in numbers and hoping the train wouldn’t leave before you were done?
Soon, you’ll be able to park your car, hop on the train, and pay your parking fee with your cell phone.
Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith on Monday presented to the Village Board details of the agreement with Parkmobile, the company that will handle the administration of the payments.
Smith said that commuters, once they have registered with Parkmobile, will simply call the Parkmobile number and enter their code and their parking stall number to pay for their parking. The additional charge to use the pay-by-phone system is $.55, with $.35 going to Parkmobile and $.20 cents to the credit card company for processing fees. The total amount will come to $1.80.
Since the Metra train station was built in Elburn, the Police Department and the village have looked for ways to make paying for parking easier for commuters. For those commuters who use the train five days a week, the department offers the option of a three-month, six-month, nine-month or 12-month parking pass. The cost works out to less than the $1.25 per day the commuter pays on a daily basis.
For example, a three-month pass is $76.25, which comes out to approximately $1.17 per day, given the average 22-business-day month. The cost of a 12-month pass is $240, making the cost approximately $.92 per day
Parkmobile will remain in charge of the administration and the money, and will reimburse the village for its portion of the fees on a monthly basis. There is no installation fee, and as long as the village maintains the contract with Parkmobile for at least one year, the service is provided to the village at no cost. If the village cancels the contract within the first year, there is a cancellation fee of $1,000.
The board will vote on the contract at the Village Board meeting on Monday, Oct. 15.