Parcxmart-Compliant Meters Now Available in Downtown New Haven
Mayor John DeStefano Jr. of New Haven, CT, has officially marked the installation of 525 Parcxmart-compliant parking meters throughout the city's downtown. Manufactured by Duncan Parking Technologies, these are the first such meters to be installed in the United States.
"The New Haven Parcxmart Card, which we introduced to the city in April, makes parking, commuting and shopping easier for everyone who comes downtown," DeStefano said. "Judging from the reaction by the public ... and the fact that the Parcxmart payment system is designed to work with many different municipalities, I would not be surprised to see neighboring towns consider adopting this new parking payment system."
It is America's first fully functional parking and local merchant smart card payment system. Users load and reload money onto the card, and cardholders have a convenient one-card alternative to coins and cash for small-dollar transactions at parking meter and garage locations, as well as for retail purchases at participating merchants across the United States.
"People will initially use the card because of its convenience at parking meters, and will likely find it valuable for other small-dollar transactions at merchants throughout the city," said Paul Wessel, Director of the city's Traffic and Parking Department. "The merchants win with efficient transaction-processing rates, increased store traffic and Parcxmart commissions. And the entire city benefits because this new technology is both easy to use and saves us substantial money."
At present, nine parking lots and garages and more than 20 stores or restaurants accept the New Haven Parcxmart Card. The average merchant transaction is approximately $5, and the average load onto the card is $30. Since its introduction in April, more than 800 cards have been issued and loaded with money.
The Traffic and Parking Department expects to replace its remaining 2,500 on-street meter inventory with smart card-compliant meters by year's end. These meters most likely will be a combination of single and multi-space meter technology.
"Merchants and consumers in New Haven are calling our program 'Cooler Than Cash,'" said John Regan, President and CEO of Parcxmart Technologies, an offline electronic payments company. "They like the fact that, like cash, there is no chance of identity theft or personal fraud with our product; but unlike cash, if you lose your card and you saved your card number, you can get your money back. They like the New Haven-themed card and the fact that it supports the city. The merchants also are looking forward to our loyalty program, where card users can win instant rewards at participating merchants in the first quarter of 2006."
Article Abstract from January, 2006