New credit card parking meters installed

The city of Topeka is testing 30 parking meters that accept credit and debit card payments.
Installation of the solar-powered, card-accepting meters was completed Tuesday, said Mike McGee, director of building and general services for the city.

The new parking meters are located in the 200 block of S.E. 7th Street in front of the Shawnee County Courthouse, the 100 block of S.E. 8th Street on the north side of the block, and the 100 block of S.W. 8th Street on the north side of the block.

"It's really a lot about convenience for people," McGee said.

The hourly rate will remain the same at $1 per hour, McGee said. Users must select the time requested if using a credit/debit card.

Time will start at one hour but can be reduced or increased by using plus and minus buttons on the meter.

The minimum time is 30 minutes when using a credit/debit card, or a 50-cent charge.

There is no cost to the city for testing the meters except for $700 in electronic networking.

If the city decides to purchase the meters, it would be at a cost of $510 per unit.

Drew Stone, a representative from IPS Group, which manufactures the meters, answered questions from members of the media during the city of Topeka's August news conference Wednesday at City Hall, 215 S.E. 7th.

He said the IPS meters are in operation on a trial or permanent basis in at least 70 cities across the United States.

Stone said the meters are safe and users shouldn't be worried about their credit card information being stolen.

McGee said other communities that have been using the new meters have seen an increase of 30 percent to 40 percent in revenue.

The city would install them in high-volume areas only if this test is deemed successful, McGee said.

"We will look at the revenue," he said. "My presumption is we will want to proceed."
IPS Group
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