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Readers Prefer Plastic To Pay For On-Street Parking

November 5, 2013 Featured, Parking 3 Comments
Our current parking meters accept coins only.
Our current parking meters accept coins only.

The poll question last week had nothing to do with individual parking meters versus pay stations, the goal was to see the payment options ranked:

Q: Assuming on-street parking rates will increase, what are your two preferred methods of payment?

  1. Plastic (debit/credit) 46 [48.94%]
  2. Coins 22 [23.4%]
  3. Cell phone 16 [17.02%]
  4. Bills 10 [10.64%]

Coins came in a distant second to debit/credit cards. Surprising to me is bills came in very last, but I rarely carry bills now either.

I haven’t tested the “Liberty Meters” being tested in the CWE yet, I should go see how easy they are to use:

Motorists parking in the City of St. Louis – you can stop searching your consoles for loose change! The City Treasurer’s Office is launching a pilot program called,”No Change, No Problem.” Starting May 10th, Sixty (60) new individual credit and debit card accepting parking meters will be installed in the Central West End neighborhood. The “No Change, No Problem” pilot program will run through summer and fall 2013. With this program, drivers can use coins, credit or debit cards to park at one of the new meters. Parking rates will not increase and no additional fees will be charged for using credit or debit cards. These new meters will function the same as coin-operated meters– just more conveniently.

We want to hear from you! Give us some feedback about the new meters. Click the survey button below or comment on the Treasurer’s Office Twitter (@stltreasurer | #stlparkingmeters) or Facebook (St. Louis Treasurer).

Your feedback will help determine whether or not to expand this program to other areas of the city. (Source: St. Louis Treasurer)

Has anyone paid the new test meters using plastic?

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. tonydoss says:

    Downtown Clayton has the meters that accept plastic. You insert your card, pick the amount of time and the meter spits out a sticker that you place on your windshield. actually I think I prefer using plastic

  2. guest says:

    I haven’t used the ones here but have used them in other cities. I prefer the idea of plastic. But the process of leaving your car for the machine, paying, getting your receipt or sticker, and returning to your car to display it is not ideal. For urban areas, where there’s already a perception that parking is a hassle and/or too far from your destination, I think it adds extra steps people won’t like. Presumably card readers on each individual meter would be cost-prohibitive, at least currently (thought I see more and more vending machines with this). In short, I would prefer it but it requires a change in habit and a perceived extra hassle, neither of which have boded well for urban parking situations in the past.

    • JZ71 says:

      Individual “smart” meters are currently available that accept credit cards – http://www.denvermeter.com/smartmeters_about.html . . Since they have a higher capital cost, their installation costs need to be weighed against the revenue each meter generates. Does it make sense to spend $500 or $800 per meter, to say nothing of the increased maintenance and card processing fees, when our rates are currently just $1 per hour (generating maybe $10 a day, at best, on average)?


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