East Lansing City Council agreed to conduct a 6-month trial to test credit card-enabled parking meters from California-based IPS Group, Inc. Next month IPS Group will install a total of 10 solar-powered parking meters that accept both coin and credit card payments.
The City Council will evaluate the parking meters in March 2015, but already expect that they will add a new level of convenience and service to the residents. The parking meters will be evaluated on multiple factors, including how the solar-powered meters perform in the winter.
Another factor in the decision in whether or not to keep the new meters is how they will affect the revenue brought in by parking tickets. The expectation is that there will be fewer tickets when people are given more payment options.
The new parking meters are similar to the ones that are already installed on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). Approximately 50% of all parking payments at MSU are made by credit card.
The new parking meters will be more customer-friendly. Another pro is that they are web-based and can notify the parking office electronically when broken or jammed.
If the city decides to keep the meters, they will have to look into the financing. The new parking meters cost $500 apiece, which is more that the current traditional parking meters. Other costs include a set-up fee, monthly operating fee and a 13 cent processing fee for credit card transactions.
The next step for the City Council is to include pay-by-phone application that allow customers to pay for parking with their smartphone or via app, receive alert message when the meter is about to expire and top up the meter from a distance. Mayor Triplitt said he’s very excited about piloting PassportParking too. PassportParking, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is an industry leading provider of integrated cloud-based parking solutions and provides a mobile parking payment service.