NEW CANAAN — More downtown parking spaces are on the way.

The Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved a six-month trial period for Boxcar, a Cranford, N.J.-based mobile application that partners with private property owners — such as funeral homes and churches — to help people book vacant spaces in their lots.

With over 500 residents on the permit parking wait list and talks about parking lot expansion still in its early stages, town officials have turned to Boxcar to meet demand for spots.

St. Aloysius Church at 21 Cherry St. is expected to be a pilot site, with approximately 60 spots available to book, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Boxcar CEO Joe Colangelo.

Colangelo made his pitch to the commission during a Tuesday meeting, alongside Moynihan.

Members of the commission had questions.

More Information

To learn more about Boxcar, visit boxcarapp.com.

“The challenge we have is that we’re responsible for determining how many spaces should be available,” Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman John Goodwin said. “There are potential situations for abuse where a landowner makes available way more spaces (on their property).”

Colangelo said the price for spots would be around $6 per day for a time frame that could range from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The mobile application takes 25 percent of the revenues from the parking fees and the rest goes toward the private property owner.

Commissioner Dan Radman asked if landlords could change the price of a parking spot if they chose to partner with Boxcar.

“The landlord can set whatever price they would like,” Colangelo said. “It’s a nice stream of money, but only if (the owners) don’t have to lift a finger. We provide customer service, scheduling and payment.”

Moynihan suggested the Parking Department could work with St. Aloysius to police its Boxcar-operated parking spaces.

“If we discover any problems, we will ask Boxcar to reduce the number (of spots) and manage it based on local knowledge,” Moynihan said.

“The Planning and Zoning Commission is taking a chance on Boxcar and we want to make sure we live up to the expectations,” Colangelo said. “We’re really selective with what we’re working with — completely unused parking spots during the day.”

To learn more about Boxcar, visit boxcarapp.com.

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