Silver Spring has joined Bethesda as a location that offers pay-by-cell parking. Wheaton and Montgomery Hills will be added by this summer.
What is pay-by-cell parking? It's the ability to use your cell phone to add time to a parking meter that is pay-by-cell ready, which is currently about 4,500 meters in Silver Spring according to the Gazette web site.
Besides the advantage of not having to carry around change for the meter, there are other bonuses. One is that you'll get a text message when your meter is about to expire so you can add time via your cell phone from wherever you are. No more running down to the curb to add time. Another is that you can get your money back for unused time if you return to your car before your meter expires. Both of these options can keep you from ever getting another parking ticket.
And fiscal conservatives will be happy to know that the program costs the county no money, except charges for adding decals to the meters that use the app.
The one possible downside is the 35 cent convenience fee that you must pay on top of your parking costs. But compared to a $45 or higher parking ticket, most people happily pay the fee.
First-time users must register by either visiting www.mc.goparknow.com or calling 301-830-7074. You'll set up an account and select a credit card for the parking fees. When you park at a pay-by-cell meter, you call the same phone number or send a text to 32075. Then just follow the prompts. To end a session before time expires and get money back, you call the same number.
Pay-by-cell parking is now one of four options for parking in the county. The others are a monthly parking pass, an electronic CashKey that holds up to $200 for use in certain meters, and good old-fashioned coins.
This is yet another reason why people in Silver Spring and the surrounding areas love living here!
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