Local Government and Politics, News

Lynn residents can’t pay their parking tickets online. Here’s why.

LYNN — While Lynn’s Parking Department is on its way to a more tech-savvy future, residents have been unable to pay their tickets online for three weeks.

Robert Stilian, Lynn’s acting parking director, said the department is transitioning to a new ticketing system operated by private firm, IPS Group, and implemented a trial period almost a month ago. Velosum, the current system, is still linked to the department’s website, which has created headaches for residents trying to pay their fines online.

“I know people are upset about the testing,” Stilian said. “With anything new, there is always a glitch.”

Stilian, who took over the role four years ago, said there are two explanations for the online payment annoyances.

The printed parking tickets are currently provided by IPS as part of the trial period, and there is a period after the “.com” on the website link displayed on the citations. Residents have included that additional period when trying to get online. Stilian called the company and asked them to send over reprinted tickets to prevent that issue from occurring, he said.

The second issue, according to Stilian, is the department being in limbo with the two systems while completing the trial period.

“If you have one of our old system tickets, even the system before Velosum, you can’t clear it online,” he said. “You have to come in person to pay those.”

Another transitional grievance deals with any citations that have been marked by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Stilian said the city’s department still uses printed blue forms, which people have to fill out in person. He also said the RMV does not allow city parking departments to fully use two ticketing systems at the same time, which is why the Lynn department is working toward getting on a state contract with IPS.

Stilian said the new system will eventually offer a range of benefits for residents, such as paying for parking spaces with a mobile app. The system is similar to the ones used in Boston and Cambridge, where users can pay and extend their meter time from their phone, he said.

IPS should be up and running as the city’s only ticketing system in just a few weeks, he said.

“This is such a great system and it’s what we should have done 10 years ago, but we just couldn’t get there,” said Stilian. “By the first of the year, all headaches should be out of the way.”

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