Release Date: Tuesday, May 3rd 2011
Tempe Tests Solar-Powered, Credit Card Parking Meters
By DIANE RYAN
FOX 10 News
Jason Ericson puts a quarter in a meter on Mill Avenue, but now the soldier can use a credit card.
"It would certainly be handy to just swipe my card and go about my business down here," he said.
It's something new on Mill Avenue: solar powered parking meters that take change and a credit card.
"I just love these as a user I think it's great just not to have to carry a pocket full of change with you," said Frank Ellis.
But Ellis also owns a business on Mill Avenue called Candy Addict. He has a couple of the new meters in front of his store.
More people were coming in for quarters instead of the candy he sells.
"I was having to go down to the bank and carry back 60 pound boxes filled with quarters every week just to support parking meters," said Ellis.
Some people are concerned as they swipe their credit card through the meter - that someone else could "skim" it.
"We use the gateways through our banks that we have always used and then have layer and layer of security," said Nancy Hormann of the Downtown Tempe Association.
Many cities are already using the new meters.
The new meters will be here for 90 days for a test trial. If all goes well, they will add 540 in the Tempe area.
Business owners and shoppers believe the new meters will make parking a lot easier, bringing more people to Tempe.
The new meters will not give you a receipt, but you will see a charge on your credit or debit card.