These have to do with “third party” processing of credit card transactions.
“Right now they’re trying to formalize an agreement that’s acceptable to everybody in terms of costs and operations and ability – all those sorts of things that you’d do with any contract,” he said.
The meters, which may not look the same as the ones in the accompanying photos that are on streets in Royal Oak, Michigan, have “been ordered, they’re in stock, but they actually don’t deliver the meters until we have that agreement in hand,” Wolf said.
The meters will also be solar powered.
The installation is actually a compromise with the Walkerville business improvement association.
The association didn’t want meters on the streets at all.
“It was a resulting from the BIA wanting to eliminate all the meters in Walkerville itself on Wyandotte street,” Wolf said.
But there were problems with that.
While no meters may encourage people to shop it could have the opposite effect.
“The purpose of a parking meter is to create turnover for businesses so that it’s not the same person parking in the same spot all day long,” Wolf said.
“We could not agree to remove all the meters because we would have just had nothing but complaints because there’s no way of policing that,” he said.
“People can move from one spot to another and still stay on that same block and park there for eight hours and there’s nothing illegal about that, there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“The meters were somewhat of a compromise,” BIA coordinator Joan Charette said.
“The intention is make it easier for patrons and customers to use their credit cards instead of desperately rummaging through their pockets and purses for change.”
The rates for the new meters will be the same as for existing meters.
In Royal Oak motorists simply slip their cards into the meter and the fee shows up on their monthly credit card statements.
The BIA was not obligated to kick in any money for the meters, which cost $600 each, more expensive that conventional meters.
“It’s a technology and it was a project that we could undertake,” Wolf said.
“It’s not a hugely expensive project, we’re only doing 50 meters.”
Wolf said another reason for the pilot is to determine whether making it easier to pay for park generates more revenue for the city.
The meters come from a Canadian firm but Wolf wasn’t sure if they were actually built in Canada.
“The intention is make it easier for patrons and customers to use their credit cards instead of desperately rummaging through their pockets and purses for change,” Charette said.
“Hopefully the final result will be less parking tickets for the people who support the businesses of the Walkerville BIA and encourage their return time & time again to our enchanting area,” she added.