New parking meters

Now that we’ve got this car, I’ve used it a couple of times to go downtown. And though some areas have the old style insert-the-coin parking meters, the downtown core has had them largely replaced by pay kiosks located on each block.august%20086.jpg There have been a couple of surprises with this new method. One good and one bad. First the bad. When I stopped to make a deposit at the bank, I paid for 15 minutes at the kiosk and went inside. Seeing that the line was very long, I decided I might need thirty minutes and returned to the kiosk to pay another dollar. But when I looked at my ticket, I realized I had just paid for the same 15 minutes again! Sure enough right on the kiosk it says “Each transaction is handled separately from previous ones”. (Imagine if this was the case with the old style meters – that each time you added money, it started again from zero!)

So the lesson here is do not add money to the meter until the time has nearly expired, otherwise, you’ll pay twice for the same minutes. Now the good. august%20087.jpgWhile enjoying a visit from friends down in the old port, we were enjoying some lovely beer on a terrace some distance from where I had parked. Since we lolligagged longer than planned, it was necessary to add time to the kiosk. The good news? It’s not necessary to find the kiosk nearest your parked vehicle, you can key in your parking space at any kiosk in the general area. There happened to be one just outside the place where we were enjoying our brew. Perfect, add another couple dollars and no worries. But still, it’s wise to remember to wait until your original time has expired.

3 Comments so far

  1. zura (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    Great tips, thanks!

  2. mare (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 12:43 am

    When those meters where first introduced the maximum allowed parking time you could pay for was only two hours. If you were early for a movie or so (I almost never go by car, but it happened once) you couldn’t pay for the whole duration of your movie. And if you had paid for two hours you had to put money in the meter during the nailbiting last scenes of the movie. Or risk a $42 ticket.

    These meters make much more money for the city , since if people leave earlier the next parker will pay full price again. There is also no “I have still 15 minutes, take my ticket and put it on your dash”-type action possible.

    This system apparently is also capable of adding time by Internet or cellphone, but those functions are not “turned on”. Maybe later, but I guess the city is too happy with the money they make now by people paying twice for the same parking spot.

  3. Mikel (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 8:35 am

    I say fight back! Imagine if everyone that walked by the machine punched in a parking number then fed a quarter? Say I paid for $7 worth of parking for 2 hours. Someone comes along and usurps my space with $0.25. I’ll be sure to get a ticket by the time I return. At first revenues go up, but if enough people fought for these tickets then they might have to change the machine’s logic.

    The way I see it, there should be an accumulation of time. You put in $7 and then someone adds $0.25 then you now have $7.25 worth of time. If I leave and the next person comes along, they will pay $7 and the machine will be up but they could have “chanced it” and parked for free. At least this latter method is HONEST. The current method is criminal. Not like I would expect anything more from our wonderful city.. right. They probably need the revenues to pay for all the parking enforcement….

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