Charleston upgrades all parking meters to accept SmartCards

Charleston city officials announced Tuesday that all parking meters
downtown are now equipped to use the coinless SmartCards.
In January 2009, the city upgraded about half of its 1,840 parking meters to accept the cards, which function like pre-loaded debit or gift cards. The meters also still accept coins.

The city has now upgraded all 1,840 meters.

SmartCards allow drivers to put money into a parking meter without needing change. Time is deducted from the card when the card is inserted. If time is leftover when the driver returns, the remaining money can be refunded to the card.

The cards, which cost $5, can be purchased at the citys Department of Traffic and Transportation, located at 180 Lockwood Blvd. Starting this afternoon, the cards also are available at the Charleston Visitor Center gift shop at 375 Meeting St.

Cardholders can recharge SmartCards at those locations as well. Cards hold up to $300.

Parking meter rates, which are 25 cents for 20 minutes, are the same with coins or SmartCards.
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