Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to park?
The parking rate is $1.50 per hour for the six (6) Town Municipal Parking Lots and $2.00 per hour for the on street parking spaces.
Is there a time limit on how long a vehicle can be parked in a metered space?
There is a 2 hour time limit 6am to 3pm, Monday through Friday.
There is a 4 hour time limit 3pm to 6am, Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
What type of parking meters does the Town have?
The Town has a combination of multi-space and single-space meters and also pay-by-phone. The $1.50 and $2.00 per hour parking rates applies to both types of meters and pay-by-phone.
Are the new meters accessible to people with disabilities?
Vehicles displaying a valid handicap placard are exempt from payment but must comply with the four hour maximum parking time limit.
How do the Pay-and-Display Multi-Space meters work?
The multi-space parking meters work in a similar manner to bank machines or kiosks that you may be more familiar with. There is signage on the meter and on the on-screen prompts designed to walk you through the transaction process. The basic steps for purchasing Pay-and-Display parking are as follows:
- Press any key on the keypad to turn the meter on (if it is in “sleep” mode).
- Choose the amount of time you want to stay.
- Make a payment via credit card, debit card, bill or coin when prompted on the screen.
- If using a credit card, the meter will communicate with the bank to approve your credit card. This usually takes 5 to 15 seconds.
- Once payment is accepted, a receipt will print out in the receipt cup located below the credit card reader.
- Lift the clear cover up and remove your receipt.
- Place the receipt on the driver's side dashboard of your vehicle as instructed with the printed transaction information face up so enforcement can verify validity.
- The new multi-space meters are solar powered and environmentally friendly.
Why did you make this change?
The Town has many reasons for changing parking technology, including improved customer convenience, predictability, and reliability. Many existing single-space meters were aging, requiring more frequent repairs and difficult-to-find parts. Beyond greater reliability, the other benefits that come with the new parking technology include:
- Parkers can now pay by coin, bill, credit card, debit card and pay-by-phone. You no longer have to worry about having enough change.
- Everyone gets a receipt to prove payment. This feature is especially beneficial to business parkers making expense claims on parking.
- Extensive reporting capabilities give the Town much better control over cash flow.
- Any number of rates may be configured on the system to give the Town flexibility in addressing different parking situations while offering optimum choice.
- In our Pay-and-Display operations, we have eliminated unnecessary street "furniture" such as meters and meter poles for an improved and aesthetically pleasing streetscape.
- Removal of single-space meters enhances lots by removing visual clutter and frees up sidewalk space for pedestrians and other uses.
Is our Town the first to use these meters? What if they have problems?
Many parking operators, universities, and cities around the world are moving away from single-space parking meters to multi-space meters. The specific parking meters purchased by the Town have been installed in numerous parking lots and garages throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. These meters are built by a company that has been in the business of manufacturing electronic parking technology since 1997. One of the key reasons the company was selected is that it has an excellent reputation for service and reliability.
While the Town staff has been trained on the operations of the equipment, we also have access to 24/7 telephone support from the manufacturer and on-site service support from a local reseller. Unlike the current single-space meter, another benefit of the multi-space meters is that any meter may be used to purchase parking if any of them experiences a problem.
These parking meters appear much more expensive than the current meters. How can the Town justify spending all this money when the existing meters work perfectly fine?
The multi-space meters pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time. Specific ways the parking meters will save money and pay for themselves include:
- Reduced maintenance and collection costs of maintaining each multi-space meter that covers an area that used to be serviced by 10 to 15 single-space meters.
- Minimizing lost revenue should a meter stop working as parking may be paid at ANY multi-space parking meter. When one of the single-space meters stopped working, that space received no revenues until it was fixed.
- The modular construction of the parking meters means that repairs can be resolved quickly to minimize maintenance and service costs.
- The meters are highly secure with features that include real-time wireless alarming should there be an attempted break-in.
- When you look at the Cost per Space of single-space meters to that of the multi-space meters, the costs are quite comparable.
Why should I pay?
While no one likes to pay for parking, pay parking serves the Town and the public with valuable benefits that not everyone thinks about. For example, turnover of parking spaces is created through pay parking. This turnover means that more people can find available parking spaces during the day and ensures that merchants have a steady flow of new customers coming to their businesses.
Does this meter take credit cards?
Yes, the new meters accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. They also have the ability to accept smart cards should we decide to offer those expanded options in the future. You will also always receive a receipt as a record of your credit card purchase.
If I use my credit card, what happens if it gets stuck inside the meter?
Unlike many other multi-space parking meters, bank machines, and kiosks, the Town's new parking meters do not totally ingest the card so you can always have physical contact and access to your card.
Is my credit card data safe if I use it on one of these new meters?
All of the credit card data stored on the meter is encrypted so that it can't be read by anyone, including Town personnel. The credit card transactions are also approved by the banks in real-time so you have an authorization number on your receipt to reference your transaction with your credit card company.
What do I do if I park in a metered space and do not have change?
You can purchase a parking ticket at a master pay station using $1 bills or a credit card and place the ticket on your dashboard and pay-by-phone.
Why doesn't the parking meter give change?
The Town decided that the costs and benefits of the changers did not warrant the additional costs. The Town has structured the rates so that change should not be required for most purchases. In addition, with the option to use your credit card, you can always ensure you only pay the exact price of the parking rate.
These parking meters are too complicated.
We recognize that it may take some time to get used to the new system, but we believe the added benefits like flexible payment options will make the learning effort worthwhile. We also feel you will be as comfortable with the new meters as you are with the old ones after only a few uses.
What happens if the meter doesn't work?
If you are having difficulties with a parking meter or if you would like to report a problem with the meter, please call the Police Department 24 hours a day/seven days a week at 305.861.4862.
Occasionally a meter may have a problem accepting a particular form of payment, for example, cards or coins, but it will continue to accept other forms of payment. The payment message will automatically be adjusted to only indicate payment options that are working at that time. In the rare situation where an individual meter goes completely offline, parkers can still park in a space near an out-of-service meter as long as they purchase a receipt from another meter nearby, for example, around the corner or in another part of the lot. This is beneficial to the parker as currently they are prohibited from parking at out-of-service meters.
In addition to alarms for payment issues, other messages communicated to Town staff allow for just-in-time maintenance so that coin collection canisters may be emptied before they jam and receipt paper rolls may be replaced before they run out. The Town expects to see a significant reduction in out-of-service times with the new meters compared with the single-space meter.
Who do I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact Parking Operations Manager Elinor Joseph at 305.861.4862.