Trial programs are for users and enforcers
The city of Charlotte is installing about 30 individual parking meters with credit and debit card capabilities. This “test” will be followed by the installation of more meters, if all goes well.
If the trial is successful, Szymanski said CDOT will look into adding more smart meters throughout the city. She said CDOT would keep pay stations that already accept credit and debit cards in high-demand parking areas and coin-operated meters in low-demand areas.
Testing new equipment is smart, especially for the enforcement staff. Anytime you introduce change to a system, there is a trickle – or a flood – of alterations that must be made in response.
The public doesn’t have a choice. They park, they pay. If the machine takes quarters, people will bring quarters. If dollars are needed, they bring dollars. It’s the same with credit and debit. If you don’t have the right currency, you don’t park, and you only make that mistake once. As far as new meters being too difficult for the average Joe or Josephine, once again, necessity encourages a pretty short learning curve.
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