DDOT piloting credit card meters
DDOT is piloting new parking meters that accept credit cards and coins. The meters will be installed on high-usage blocks around 14th and U, H Street NE, Judiciary Square, Friendship Heights, and Brookland.
DC recently raised meter rates in "high demand zones" to $2 an hour, which isn't that much compared to the cost of a typical store purchase or restaurant meal, but is extremely burdensome when the only way to pay is with eight quarters.
The press release says,
For credit card operation the steps are easy – 1) insert and then remove credit card, 2) choose the amount of time requested by using the blue buttons, 3) confirm acceptance or cancel, 4) wait for verification, 5) walk away.That sounds great. I do wonder, is it necessary for people to choose the amount of time ahead of time? One of the annoying elements of meter parking is the need to predict ahead of time how much you'll need, and either overpay or risk a ticket.
This meter technology may also tie in with pay-by-phone technology also scheduled to be piloted, by networking into the web-based system, and communicating via wireless to the meter itself.
As previously reported, DDOT has already installed multi-space meters throughout commercial corridors in the District replacing many old and non-functioning single space meters. DDOT plans to roll out a number of parking meter pilot programs in addition to the solar-powered, credit card accepting, single space meters, including pay-by-cell and in-car metering systems. Each of the pilot programs will explore the latest in parking meter strategies and technologies.
Many pay by phone systems have users simply tell the system when they're done parking. What about something similar for the credit card, where you simply reinsert the card to end parking time? Anyone who stops their meter but continues to park can get a ticket, and if someone forgets to enter an end time, the system could simply charge the 2 hour maximum allowed on those meters. How about it?
Update: DDOT confirmed to Michael Perkins that these are the same meters Arlington is piloting as well. They also sent along a photo which I've put up in place of the generic parking meter photo.
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