Quarters are so last century. Even the option of inserting your card into a parking meter isn't advanced enough for some New Jersey towns.

A growing number of municipalities are linking their meters with an app you download to your phone, to hopefully avoid headaches for everyone.

"We haven't surveyed, but we're believing that the merchants, as well as the individuals parking there, are happier that they have something much more convenient," said Caldwell Mayor John Kelley.

The borough in August partnered with the ParkMobile app, which allows drivers to pay for parking through their phones, and feed the meter remotely when time's running low (they're notified through the app).

Kelley said the town is issuing fewer summonses for parking violations, but ideally that'll be offset by more money fed into the borough's meters.

ParkMobile is present at metered spaces in many New Jersey towns, including Hoboken, Princeton, New Brunswick and Wildwood.

"There's a big efficiency that's gained using mobile apps," said Michael Darcy, executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. "Parking meters break and need to be repaired. Parking meters get filled with a lot of coins and need to be emptied."

In many cases, app-linked meters do still allow drivers to use coins as payment. But the frequency of normal wear and tear shrinks significantly.

Darcy said some programs equip the meters themselves with the ability to detect when a car has left a space, and that's a financial plus for the municipality.

"There's no more leaving money on the meter," Darcy said.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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