So we're getting parking meters on Locke Street. Woo Hoo!
But wait - before everyone sees a red rag and starts bemoaning 'another tax on drivers', let's consider a few facts about paid parking:
There's no such thing as 'free parking'. By asking Locke Street shoppers to drop a quarter every time they want to grab a bagel or an old vase, we are creating a vital source of additional revenue for the City, money that can go towards re-surfacing our raods or creating an improved alternative transit infrastructure (hey - it could happen!).
The new Locke Street meters will be Credit card enabled, i.e. not the old coin machines. Card meters create thousands of additional revenue dollars for municiaplities because they are operational almost continuously.
Card meters provide more payment options for drivers. How many times have you been stuck for a quarter?
'Old' parking meters are only free after certain times because municipalities need to manage the coin collection. The cost to collect coins and repair coin blockages is significant, and the inability of old coin machines to retain large numbers of loonies means that regular 'downtime' is essential. This costs municiaplities millions in lost revenue.
Card machines generate more revenue because they avoid 'overlapping' payments. How many times have you left 20 minutes on the clock?
Card machines are harder to break into, and there is usually less money in them to steal. They tend to be valdalized less often as well.
Some card machines are susceptible to stolen card scams, and certain non-valid credit cards can still be used. However, instances of fraud are detected and addressed through on-going upgrades.
Card machines are currently powered by solar panels and transfer their data in batches throughout the day. The next generation of card machines are expected to be wireless enabled, which will allow them to process real-time transactions and drastically reduce fraud.
Coin payments may eventually be eliminated altogether. By eliminating coin payments, municipalities will save thousands on the cost of emptying machines.
Card machines allow for more parking spots on the road than the old meters. Small painted lines along the curb lane allow the City to cram in up to 10 percent more spots by removing the strategically placed parking spots and meters.
There. Glad you started reading?
Now, where did I put that quarter...
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