Credit cards bringing convenience to parking

Credit cards bringing convenience to parking

City officials in Boston recently announced a plan that will add a layer of convenience for individuals parking cars on the city's streets, offering credit and debit card payment processing in parking meters. The program will impact parking meters designed to monitor a single space within the city and surrounding area, and will begin as a pilot before expanding to more meters.

The new credit card services platforms will be installed on 144 single-space parking meters spread throughout the city. Cambridge Street, Devonshire Street, Union Street and New Chardon Street will all host the new program, which will leave approximately 7,000 parking spaces untouched until further evaluation of the credit card program has been completed.

Transportation commissioner Thomas Tinlin told the Boston Globe the city is excited about how the program gives consumers new ways to make payments that can make it easier to park in the city. Tinlin told the Globe the new meters use solar panels that should power a battery for at least a year, and are connected to a wireless internet system that will notify officials if the meter is damaged or malfunctioning in any way.

Tinlin explained part of the pilot's purpose is to see how the payment processing system will respond to the harsh conditions of New England. As a result, the pilot will likely last through at least one summer and one winter so officials can evaluate the solution's ability to withstand the environment before adding credit card services to parking meters on a large scale.

According to the Medford Press, the Boston Department of Transportation has been working to improve its parking infrastructure for quite some time, and the new credit card-enabled parking meters are just a small part of the long-term initiatives currently in the works. Over time, the report said the city may develop an EMV smart card plan that would work in conjunction with parking meters to make payments even more convenient and secure.

In Indianapolis, a similar program is much farther in its development. Fox 59 News reports the city recently completed the installation of 1,200 new parking meters that are capable of accepting credit and debit card payments. According to the report, consumers are accepting the program well and most are choosing to use their credit or debit cards instead of coins to park in the city.