Eighty years ago today the very first parking meter was installed, in Oklahoma City of all places. For decades parking meters were entirely mechanical devoices, prone to mechanical failures.
But the meter has been changing as new technology allows. The City of St. Louis is in the process of replacing the digital coin-operated meters that were installed about 20 years ago.
In the meantime, the old meters have been updated to accept credit cards — sorta. Those of us with smartphones can set up an app to pay the parking fees with plastic. This convenience costs 35¢
30 cents extra — the same convenience fee as the new meters & pay stations that are being installed.
Parking rates increased throughout the city at the start of the month, so those who like using coins will need more.
New electronic meters in the city will charge $1.50 an hour throughout most of the high-usage downtown and downtown west areas, up from the $1 an hour they were as of Tuesday. Lower-usage meters in the remainder of the city will rise to $1 from the previous 75 cents.
Penalties for failing to pay at meters also will go up. The previous $10 fee — which turned to $20 if it wasn’t paid within two weeks — now will start at $15 and rise to $30 if it’s paid late. However, fine recipients now will have three weeks to pay instead of two. (Post-Dispatch)
Old & new meters don’t accept bills — coins or plastic. For more information see the Treasurer’s new parking website: ParkLouie.com.
— Steve Patterson