Credit cut as parking option

Vernon’s experiment with credit card friendly parking meters appears to be over

Vernon’s experiment with credit card friendly parking meters appears to be over.

City council will be asked by staff Monday not to proceed with the installation of credit card capable  meters after a trial period indicated they weren’t popular.

“If it’s proving that no one was using credit cards to plug the meters, it doesn’t pay to use them,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

During the three-month trial period covering three blocks, only 1.68 per cent of transactions were credit card.

“It is believed that until parking fees are increased to a higher level where pocket change will not be able to purchase parking, that cost of implementing this additional service should not be supported,” said Clint Kanester, bylaw compliance manager, in a report to council.

That is a view shared by Quiring.

“Our parking rates are so inexpensive so it’s not worth the investment,” he said.

“In Vancouver, when you are paying $2 for half-an-hour or an hour of parking, it makes more sense.”

If council agrees not to proceed with the specialized meters, there could be significant savings.

It would have cost the city $67,780 to purchase the meters and there would have been annual operating costs of $25,000.

During the trial period, two companies provided the meters so the city could study their effectiveness.