Parking Meters Go High Tech

December 11, 2011 By-  Jonathan Willing

New parking machines have more people reaching for plastic to pay.

According to the city, nearly 40% of all revenue collected by the pay-and-display machines is from credit card transactions. Staff expect the number to increase since a pay-by-phone system is scheduled to be launched early in 2012.

The pay-by-phone system will allow people to refresh the time on their parking meters by phone or Internet, rather than running back to a meter to pay. The machines will also use “near field communication,” allowing people to simply wave their cell phones in front of a parking meter to pay if their credit card data is stored on their phones.

The city has stopped producing parking-specific smart cards since credit card payments have become so popular. People who have parking cards can get the balance cashed out by the city. Staff say the cards only accounted for roughly 2% of gross parking revenue in 2009.

The city started installing new pay-and-display machines in 2010 to replace the old coin meters. The machines accept both credit cards and coins.

While the machines have provided motorists with another payment option, the city is missing out on revenue generated from people not feeding the coin parking meters on time. By law services have forecasted a revenue decrease of $500,000 in 2012 partly because the new parking machines make it easier for people to pay, avoiding costly fines.

Parking Meters Go High Tech.(2011, December 11). Retrieved from http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/12/11/parking-meters-go-high-tech

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