I ran into Catherine Hennessey on Queen Street this morning, and she mentioned several benefits of the new central parking kiosks in Charlottetown that I hadn’t thought of previously:
- Because you can buy the same “chit” for windshield display from any machine, no matter the location, you can buy a couple of hours worth of parking and park in several different locations downtown over that time. Can’t do that with parking meters.
- The chits aren’t specific to the car, nor to the person, so if you’re leaving your spot early, you can pass your chit on to someone else who can live it out for you. This is commonly done (although officially disallowed) with public transit transfers in big cities.
- The presence of card-readers in the kiosks will enable, at least in theory, merchants to be able to give their customers “free parking” but giving them pre-charged cards good, say, for an hour of parking.
Also with this system you’re much less likely to get ripped off. Something tells me a 20 year old mechanical meter isn’t exactly Timex accurate when it’s -15 out.
I only hope that the same vandals that abused the parking meters downtown earlier this summer don’t decide to destroy these things too. I expect they’re much more expensive than your standard mechanical parking meter.
Indeed, there are some upsides. However, what happens when people can’t figure out how to operate them? Finally, a tax on stupidity.
P.S. (I stole your picture of a big red button. Please don’t kill me.)
I can see a large number of courteous Islanders taping their chit with unused minutes remaining to the Kiosk before they leave their parking spot.
One thing I noticed is that the instructions are in English only. Our many Quebec visitors may have problems figuring them out.
And maybe when they finally get rid of all those parking meters the City of Charlottetown will finally be able to plow the sidewalks better…
FAQ for the new Kiosks is at http://www.city.charlottetown.pe.ca/allaire/spectra/system/mediastore/faqunits.pdf.
You can pay with cash, and credit cards, but no debit. A lot of younger people don’t carry much cash these days, and have debit cards, but no credit cards, so this could be a problem. As well, it would be cheaper for the city to receive debit payments than credit payments.
Max time is 2 hours. It costs a buck for 2 hours. If you don’t have a loonie, and put in a toonie, it will still give you only two hours, and no change! They say this is for “convenience”.
Credit cards don’t always work the first time, if the machine is “sleeping”!
“If the credit card does not work the first time, re-insert it again. The machine has a “sleep
mode” to conserve energy and sometimes it takes two attempts to “wake up” the machine.”
send any questions, comments or concerns