Anticipating the Demise of the Parking Meter

pay_by_phoneAs the City of Charlottesville ponders an upgrade to its downtown parking technology (see “Paying for Onstreet Parking in Cville“), parking guru Bern Grush is looking two steps ahead and thinking about how municipalities should handle the inevitable demise of the parking meter.

At some point in the foreseeable future, parking will be managed in the greater majority of all these cities by all-digital means including phone, Web or in-vehicle, self-paying meters. Accompanying this will be a uniform enforcement approach that uses the license plate number to read parking credentials from the cloud. …

With the top two cell-pay providers in the US each claiming “hundreds” of cities as customers, the trend toward virtual parking meters, digital parking payment, and license plate-enabled parking (LEP) and enforcement credentials appears unstoppable. Many in our industry are increasingly seeing fully wireless parking payment management as the self-evident future.

But that does present a transition problem. Maintaining both parking meters and a wireless system is redundant and expensive. But switching prematurely to an all-digital system can alienate people not comfortable with the technology. Writing in Canadian Parker (flip to page 16) last year, Grush had a few suggestions on how to think about the switch-over.

— JAB

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One response to “Anticipating the Demise of the Parking Meter

  1. well.. it’s way beyond just parking.. it’s showing current traffic conditions, incidents, real-time transit info for stops, cameras, sensors, throughout.

    what this proves to me is that wireless internet is becoming as important as electricity or water/sewer .. i.e. utilities.

    so who should build that grid ? and how does it get paid for?

    once such a grid is in place, dozens of new capabilities will be innovated.. some we don’t even conceive of yet.

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