New ‘Credit Card Parking Meters’ Pilot Program
Offers Convenience and Flexibility for Downtown Visitors
The City of Dayton is testing out new credit card-enabled parking meters that will save drivers the hassle of searching for those elusive coins when visiting or doing business downtown.
The 40 new solar-powered parking meters will accept all major debit and credit cards, in addition to coins. Twenty-one meters have been installed on the east side of North Main Street between First and Third Streets, and 19 are located on the south side of West Third Street west of Perry Street near Sinclair Community College.
This convenient new payment option allows drivers to quickly swipe their card and set their desired parking time, with a maximum of 75 minutes on the Main Street meters and two hours on the Third Street meters. Credit card numbers are not stored in the devices themselves, but are encrypted and sent wirelessly to a secured server.
The trial meters will have a two-cent per minute rate and are programmed wirelessly via a web browser. The meters come with software that allows them to send wireless alerts to City engineers if the devices are malfunctioning or if the coin capacity is full, enabling crews to respond in a timely fashion. The software can also provide more detailed performance data on how frequently the meters are used, for what lengths of time, and during what periods of the day. The credit card meters are also eco-friendly in that they use solar panels to collect energy to power their internal batteries.
Dayton is using the new meters on a 90-day trial basis, after which they will be evaluated for cost effectiveness and performance. If successful, similar meters may be phased in in other parts of downtown. The City currently maintains about 1,300 parking meters located in the downtown area.