Drivers no longer need to lug around rolls of quarters.
South Miami has converted all parking meters into electronic pay for parking stands that accept coins, dollar bills and credit cards.
“It’s really easy to use since there are multiple payment options,” said Major Rene Landa, the public information officer for the City of South Miami.
The system involves typing in the number of one’s parking space and selecting a payment method. Drivers will not have to return to their car to drop off a receipt because parking enforcement officers will be able to check the time left on a spot electronically. Time can also be added remotely by calling the number on the pay station and entering a credit card number.
Drivers have found the system convenient, but some are still adjusting.
“The idea behind the new system is a good one but the transition was a little confusing,” sophomore Eliana Newman said. “The first time I parked in the lot I didn’t even notice the machines and went to dinner without paying at all.”
This confusion is augmented by the lack of signs around parking lots to advertise the new system.
“I go to Sunset pretty regularly so I was surprised to see there weren’t meters anymore,” senior Ashlee Hollingsworth said. “I didn’t see any signs around the lot explaining the new system, so when I first parked behind the Chase bank I had to go back to my car and find my spot number before paying for parking.”
However, Landa believes that the new system will soon become as familiar as the meters.
“There’s going to be a learning curve at the beginning, because this system is kind of new, but people can figure it out quickly,” he said.
The one con? The minimum amount of time for parking is one hour. That means every time a person parks the cost will be at least $1.25.
“The new system is great because I never carried around coins,” Hollingsworth said. “But if I’m running into Panera for 15 minutes it costs me more than a quarter.”
Alexandra Blaney may be contacted at email@example.com.