In-Car Meter Goes Online
Convenience – that’s what parking should be all about. What is more convenient than going online and ordering your parking and having it delivered a couple of days later in the mail? From then on, you are in control.
At least that’s the theory, if you use a new program being introduced by Tom DiVito at Login Parking, a division of Login Lock. “Making this a completely online system gives convenience to the customer, and takes the city out of the loop of having to deal with fulfillment and personal confrontations,” DiVito says. This program eliminates the decade-old problem with in-car devices: the upfront cost to both the city and the consumer.
With the system, you pull into a parking space, take your personal meter out of the spare cup holder, turn it on and walk away. No coins, no cards, no phone calls, no ticket to display. No walking down the block to get a receipt. Just an on/off button.
Here’s how it works. The consumer fills out an online order form. The meter is initialized for security and city rates and sent to the consumer. The consumer uses his password to get online, pays and downloads time for that city via a USB port. The city’s bank account is immediately credited with 100 percent of the downloaded time. The consumer is charged a small fee for the download.
On the street, the consumer turns on the unit, chooses the rate if applicable and walks away. The city is given the unique code of all active units registered to it for validation. (The software for the enforcement handhelds is provided free.) Lost or stolen units are updated in the enforcement software daily.
The enforcement officer scans the unit to ensure that it is valid (not stolen) and also valid for this city. As the popularity of in-car meters expands, drivers could use a meter from city “A” in city “B.” The scan of the device validates the unit for the location in which it is being used.
When the consumer returns to the car, his meter is turned off and only the time used is deducted. At home or work, the consumer can download an activity report that documents the time, date, duration and rate information. Regular online activity keeps the units active in the city database, maintains current software updates, enables immediate rate change implementation, and allows the city direct and free communication about parking issues.
This program works with any hardware on the street. It even works if there is no hardware on the street. This is designed to be a time-saving device for all large users, a convenience solution for personal consumers, and a revenue increaser for the city. In this system, there are no fees paid by the city (credit, debit, telephone, WiFi, etc.). Plus, there are reduced collection costs and more convenience for the parkers. The city also collects revenue in advance.
For more information, contact Tom DiVito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article Abstract from February, 2007