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Top off Your Parking Meter with a Cell Call

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the make-the-call-from-your-friend's-phone dept.

430

dstone writes "Vancouver, Canada has just become the first major city in North America to allow motorists to feed their parking meters with their cell phone. Drivers call a number on each meter, the system recognizes them by Caller ID, they enter how many minutes they want, and that's it. The system sends them a reminder text message before their time is up and they can extend their time remotely. The catch? The company contracted to provide the service, Verrus, makes their money through a 30-cent 'convenience fee.' Less pockets full of change, less parking tickets, seems like a step forward."

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Wrong Number? (4, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15613958)

So do you trade parking meter stickers with Lexus guy then?

Re:Wrong Number? (1, Insightful)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614023)

I paid for my parking like this 2 years ago in Vancouver. This is old news.

Re:Wrong Number? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614358)

Here's [npr.org] where I first heard about this.

Old news.

Re:Wrong Number? (4, Insightful)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614401)

I think you're thinking of private lots (where this has been available for years). This is the first roll-out that covers all of the coin-meters on the sides of the street.

It seems like a good idea, however the cynical side of me also wonders that if in addition text messaging the owner of the vehicle when the payment is about to expire, it might also be text messaging the parking enforcement officer for the area to keep an eye out in areas with lots of meters that are expiring at the same time so they know where to concentrate their "efforts"...

It would also be nice if they could do this as a straight text message by phone instead of by voice. Could be a lot faster...

N.

Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (4, Insightful)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15613967)

If,

I'm not way off-track one of the purposes of a parking meter is the annoyance feature. Keeps a set of rich guys from pumping quarters in it all day long without any negative consequences for them.

This tech enables that sort of behavior.

And then the poor slobs get to walk a half a mile just to get to the courthouse.....

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614012)

Actually, here in Calgary CANADA, there's been a big hubub recently about people parking all day at parking meters and just paying the fine. It was cheaper to pay the $25 fine than to pay $28 for eight hours of parking.
Apparently a secretary for couple of law offices would regularily just walk into city hall with a list of license numbers of the partners and pay off all the fines on-masse

City of Calgary is considering raising the daily fine to $300 now

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (2, Interesting)

dirty (13560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614299)

We had that problem in Philadelphia, so they just increased the ticket price rather than actually deal with the cost of parking in the city.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614314)

I did that a few years back in Boston. i had to spend three days in the city. A legal parking spot for those days would of run me $45. Chancing a parking ticket was $15 a ticket. well I moved every day and was in a slightly different spot every night. I got one parking ticket on my last night.

Big deal. I can live with that. I don't know if they have changed the price since then though.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

BoiseAlf (820431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614055)

It might be easier to track. You can only use the same cell phone to top-off the same meter once. The annoyance factor then changes as people would have to borrow other people's cell phones and thus charge their friend/co-worker's meter account - now they have to keep track of how much $$$ they owe them...

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614085)

Still, it would provide plenty of work for the caller-id-spoofing industry.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614094)

Yeah. This sorta thing is just lazy. Seriously. Like getting groceries online.....that has to be one of the things I still don't get. Just get your ass to the store.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614191)

Like getting groceries online.....that has to be one of the things I still don't get

You know what I don't get?

Arrogant dumbshits that think just because something is of no use to them, that it can't be of use to anyone.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (0)

abigor (540274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614279)

I order my groceries online via spud.ca. It's a fantastic service and it saves me loads of time to do more interesting and fulfilling things than walking down to the market. I guess you have lots of empty hours to kill. Have you considered a hobby?

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (5, Interesting)

danzona (779560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614110)

Here in Chicago, most parking meters have a time limit for parking. So it will say 25c / 30 minutes, 2 hour limit.

In Chicago, it appears that enforcement of this is half hearted (compared with places like Carmel where they use chalk to mark the tires to enforce the time limit).

Anyway, it would not be hard for the cell phone parking meter to enforce the time limit. So after 4 quarters, the parking meter won't take any more money and the driver has to move.

Wouldn't it be great if the parking meter could tell that you hadn't paid or moved the car and then issued the cell phone an instant meter violation charge? I believe that is $50 in Chicago. Plus a 30 cent convenience fee.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614206)

where i live the do the chalk thing too.. i walked out just intime to see a cop making my tires.. i have him holy hell about vandilizing my car.. caught him completely off gaurd - he really had no excuse.. jsut said he was sorry and i left.

it was all in good fun though.. i am glad they ticket people.. i just hate it when the see a meeter with like 2 min on it and jsut stand there and wait for it.. i had one like that (diffrent cop) they stuck the ticket to the windshield as i was turnning the car on.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (3, Insightful)

admdrew (782761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614369)

i have [sic] him holy hell about vandilizing my car..
it was all in good fun though..

Congrats, asshole. Way to ruin a guy's day while he was doing his job. We've all been pissed about parking tickets, but the onus is on the owner of the car to make sure the meter is paid, not the person in charge of writing tickets. Why should you expect leniency from a cop who probably has to do that all day? To him, your car is no more important than the thousands of others out there.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

frakir (760204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614227)

Keeps a set of rich guys from pumping quarters in it all day long without any negative consequences for them.

I hope the next feature added will be automatically issued parking tickets when someone exceeds their time... sort of 'convenience ticket'. That is what you will eventually get when you disclose your id/cell number in advance in a ticket gamble.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614237)

You're right, they have time limits on parking meters for a reason. I've seen ones that won't even let you put more change in until ALL the time elapses. It says "Hey, other people have shit to do as well."

How long until we see cell phones that do this auto-magically? Just put in the meter number, and the amount of change to dump in every hour. If you could do that, I see no reason to not make the meter last all day, surely you could implement a system in a digital meter that charged more the longer you wanted to park, and it wouldn't be a bonus only to people with cell-phones.

Also, I noticed you've been modded "overrated". Looks like some people disagree with you, but want to escape the meta-modding. Sorry.

Re:Kinda defeats a parking meter feature (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614378)

Well it works out nicely as an annoyance. I work part time for my friend's kitchen installation business and when we're working in the city (Manhattan) parking is frustrating. Being able to stay at a job for more than an hour before I have to go fill up the meter would be so nice.

convenience fees (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#15613971)

There aren't a lot of convenience fees that I wholeheartedly support, but 30 cents to not have to run out to my parking meter sounds like a winner.

Re:convenience fees (3, Interesting)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614014)

Very true. I would be happy to pay the extra 30 cents for the convenience of not having to look for change. I never have change on me. Now what I would really like is for vending machines to take debit cards because once again I never have change on me. I am all about convenience which is the reason I pay an extra dollar for milk from Walgreens instead of going to the grocery store.

Re:convenience fees (-1, Troll)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614026)

I don't know about Canada but in my little town in Pennsylvania a nickle got me 25 minutes. Do you really think I'll spend another 35 cents (.05 (25 minutes)+ .30 (embezzlement charge) to add another 25 minutes? I'll walk my fat ass out the door and insert the nickle.

Re:convenience fees (1)

code addict (312283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614170)

I wish it was that cheap. Typical meter charges in Vancouver are usually something like $1 = 15 minutes.

Re:convenience fees (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614028)

Yes, so would I and many more others, too. However, the problem isn't the idea, it's going to be the implementation costs vs. the city governments that love dishing out parking tickets and wheel boots (Pittsburgh, for instance) to make the easy revenue. I usually see no less than 4 meter maids at any given time walking down the street and watch them hover near the meters with less than 2 minutes to expire.

Re:convenience fees (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614104)

However, the problem isn't the idea, it's going to be the implementation costs vs. the city governments that love dishing out parking tickets and wheel boots (Pittsburgh, for instance) to make the easy revenue. I usually see no less than 4 meter maids at any given time walking down the street and watch them hover near the meters with less than 2 minutes to expire.
This may make paying your parking meter easier but it doesn't guarantee everyone will pay. You are still going to run into issues like forgetting your cell at home or the battery is dead and not having change on you. There are still going to be plenty of chances for the city to fine people for not paying. Now if this results in a less parking tickets the city will be able to lower their overhead by not needing to pay as many meter maids. Either way I think the city is going to get a profit from this.

talk about this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15613974)

hey, i am testing out a new system for talking about slashdot stories in real time: http://parkingcell.jibdig.com/ [jibdig.com] if you guys want to help test it that would be great, thanks.

According to the Rastafarians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15613991)

Vancouver is Babylon - the city of greed and excess. I think they have something there.

Re:According to the Rastafarians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614102)

And no two people speak the same language, and finding someone who was born here is like finding hen's teeth.

Who to call when the meter won't accept ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15613992)

Who to call when the meter won't accept ? THAT IS WHAT i WANT TO KNOW.

Nothing to see here, move along... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15613993)

I saw this whilst travelling over 2 years ago.... I think it was in NZ

Competition (2, Insightful)

wlkrt0 (985337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15613996)

So does this mean that every city in Canada will be able to use a different service provider?
While it would be feasible to maintain an account with several providers in different cities, it seems like a government-sponsered portal would make more sense than required accounts to be created directly on the company site. Maybe this won't be an issue since most of one's parking would be in one city; just a thought.

Re:Competition (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614015)

In Canada parking fees and such regulation are a municipal matter - neither the provincial nor federal governments have any place getting muddled in it. Unfortunately that probably means accounts everywhere. I live in Richmond (a 'burb of Vancouver), and there are quite a few separate municipalities in this area where I regularly park, so I'll probably keep pumping those quarters.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614332)

In fact, if you live in Richmond (or White Rock or Seattle) you can use the same service - it's all the same company. I think it's everywhere at Impark and Diamond parking lots in Vancouver too.

Re:Competition (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614040)

I remember reading once that the very first Parking Meters were installed in Albuquerque New Mexico about 100 years ago. It was a temorary meassure to pay for some needed street repair. The streets are still broken.. and the meters are still there...

Re:Competition (1)

kevinl (38843) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614400)

According to http://www.ionet.net/~luttrell/history.html [ionet.net] , the first parking meters were installed in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935. They were intended to solve the problem of people who worked downtown taking too many parking spots all day.

"Convenience" fees! Heh. (5, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614021)

I remember the first time (too many years back, now) that I experienced Convenience while I was in line at a McDonalds grabbing a burger on my way someplace. I told the cashier I wanted a Diet Coke as my combo drink. She handed me the now-expected empty cup and told me that I would be getting the drink from the "Convenience Center" across the store.

"Convenient for who?" I asked. And she told me, unblinkingly, that it had in fact really made their job a lot easier.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614067)

Fuck you.

It's McDonalds. How many fucking free refills of coke did your fat ass get? Multiply that by about the 52 billion served and you see what the problem is. People who expect to be waited on for 6 bucks should go fuck themselves.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614133)

It's McDonalds. How many fucking free refills of coke did your fat ass get? Multiply that by about the 52 billion served and you see what the problem is. People who expect to be waited on for 6 bucks should go fuck themselves.

Nice, thoughtful response, there. Let's see... how many refills? None. I essentially never do that - usually I prefer to have the cashier hand me my food in a bag, my drink in a cup, and I walk out. Places like McDonalds used to do that all the time, even after the "billions and billions served" signs started replacing actual numbers. I don't expect to be waited on for $6, I just found it funny that a place in the restaurant actually labeled "Convenience Center," is really just a speed booster for their own operations. Why not just call it "self service," and be honest about it? It's the slippery use of the language that's annoying, not the pouring of the drink.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (1)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614372)

Last time I was in Ontario, Canada (2003), it was normal to have to pay a nickel or a dime for a grocery bag and to have to bag one's own groceries.

It took a while to get used to implied free refills on soda in fast food restaurants in the U.S.: for a while I'd throw out my empty cup and go to buy another one if I was really thirsty, having been brainwashed in Canada that anything not explicitly permitted is forbidden. Not surprisingly, the cashier would usually think me an idiot for throwing out my old cup. Sometimes they'd get mad that I wanted a replacement, not realizing that I was prepared to pay a second time. Only when I was reassured that, yes, the availability of self-serve soda implies free refills, did I believe it.

Thankfully, I am now filing I140 and I485, having received an LC. Hopefully the brainwashing of my socialist upbringing will start to fade with time.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (3, Insightful)

preppypoof (943414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614075)

i find the free refills and mixable drinks pretty convenient...

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614100)

I find it convenient to not have to wait in line for a refill of my drink as I am leaving, but maybe I'm just strange.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614134)

"McDonaldsisation" is actually what I've heard that referred to. And it's not limited to your soft drink :

- You get your cutelery yourself
- You get straws yourself
- You clear up after yourself (disposing in the trash

And then on a wider levels

- At the coffee shop, your add your own extra (milk, sugar, etc.)
- At the supermarket you collect your own groceries (compare this to the grocers at the market, or of the '40s and '50s)
- You server yourself gas (if you're not in NJ)

However, these are by no means negative. You get to choose exactly what you want, prices are cheaper and queues are shortened.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (2, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614283)

and with all that put on the customer, some actually have the balls to leave out a tip jar.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (1)

eggsovereasy (573119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614328)

And you have to scan your own credit card?

I find it humorous that at Krogers (grocery store) you have to scan your own credit card, but they can print your check for you? Why would you spend time making it more convient for me by printing my check, but at the same time make me scan my own card?

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (1)

Jinjuku (762364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614247)

I find it convenient to keep an empty McD's cup in the car. So when I get a burger there, I don't even inconvenience them with the effort of having to ring up the drink. I also keep the large popcorn bag that cost $4.85 but has .25 cent refills @ the theater that I go to (that they never charge for) very convenient after I just paid $9.25 to see a movie. If they want me to sit through commercials, my popcorn is essentially subsidized (sp?) anyways. Yes, I am that cheap and just slightly enough anti-establishment ;-). Though not anti enough not to go there...

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (4, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614393)

Don't claim you're anti-establishment as some sort of justification of your con jobs. Your actions are the ones driving companies to do the shit they do.

Re:"Convenience" fees! Heh. (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614379)

It's there to get you away from the counter as fast as possible. They don't have to hear someone get pissed off because they put too much ice in their drink, or that they want 1/4 cup lemonade 3/4 cup coke.

In the person waiting in line's mind, generally once you get the food your "wait" is over, so it helps to make it seem like things are moving faster, even if you wait to get your cups of ketchup and your soda over at the "convience center".

more lazy people (3, Insightful)

jtaylor00 (670164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614034)

Less pockets full of change, less parking tickets more people too lazy to walk down the street and burn off that big mac to put more change in the meter.

Granted, there are some instances when this would be nice, but I think most people would use it because they are just plan lazy. Convenience, less exercise, and more food has made this nation very plump.

Also, why would a city want to risk losing that much revenue from all those tickets?

Re:more lazy people (1)

dispatch (981884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614167)

Also, why would a city want to risk losing that much revenue from all those tickets?

This is a good point, one I was also wondering. The university I graduated from relied very heavily on these types of fines and I would imagine if this technology took a bite out of that this loss would be shifted else where (tuition)... of course it was all students paying for it but now even kids w/ out cars would have to pay a share :).

I suppose cities that get involved in this can just charge the company implementing it an (extra) liscencing fee but that seems like it would cause an increase in the "conveinece fee"...

Re:more lazy people (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614364)

The university I graduated from relied very heavily on these types of fines and I would imagine if this technology took a bite out of that this loss would be shifted else where (tuition)... of course it was all students paying for it but now even kids w/ out cars would have to pay a share

Heaven forbid that those who use a particular service, actually have to pay for that service instead of palming it off onto the wider community. And I say that despite having a student debt of my own.

Re:more lazy people (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614190)

Also, why would a city want to risk losing that much revenue from all those tickets?

Oddly enough, unlike private corporations, some cities do actually do things to benefit their citizens....even if they lose money on it. (they just raise taxes)

Re:more lazy people (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614325)

The city in question where this is happening, Vancouver, is well-known as having pretty much the skinniest population in North America. So it would seem there isn't much to your asserted correlation between coinless meters and getting fat.

Is there a top-up limit? (2, Insightful)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614037)

I thought repeat metering (constantly plugging the meter) was prohibited?

One of the major reasons we have meters in the city I live in (TacosCornhole, ND) was to promote high turnover parking in the urban areas - to make it more convenent for shoppers and the like.
My nuts smell like WD40.

Sounds like wasted VC money (1, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614039)

Sounds like a good idea on the surface, but how many transactions do you need to rack up for this system to pay for itself?

Choose your payment method: (5, Funny)

telso (924323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614053)

To use a washer, text the word "SLUG" to 91111.

Old News (-1, Troll)

Ed Almos (584864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614068)

Sorry guys but we have been using a similar system here in Budapest for two years. Maybe if you didn't spend so much time playing at being the world's policeman you wouldn't have to play catch up so often.

Ed Almos

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614189)

Maybe if you didn't spend so much time posting knee-jerk comments on slashdot, you could study a little geography and learn the difference between "Canada" and "The United States of America".

Unless you really DO think Canada acts at being the world's policeman. If so, that's quite peculiar.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614210)

This is Canada we're talking about. We're the bully's b!tch, not the bully.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614216)

We learned it from you!

Re:Old News (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614219)

Last time I checked Vancouver, Canada was not a part of the USA. You might know that if the school system in Hungary wasn't so piss poor.

Re:Old News (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614220)

We Canadians aren't "the world's policeman".

And yes, we do implement the mobile telephone technology far more slowly than most European and Asian countries - far faster than I really think we should, but hey, I'm a dinosaur from the age of the Amiga.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614351)

AC: Thank you Head Kokgobbler WhiteHatLurker for that insightful post!

WHL: Gobble Gobble Gobble!

AC: Um, yeah, that's what I'm talking about. You are trying to say something, but with that kok stuffed down your throat, it's kinda hard.

WHL: GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!

AC: Okay, I think I'll get out of here and let you keep fellating the /. crowd.

Re:Old News (2, Insightful)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614235)


I do believe this will completely change the parking scene in Vancouver. Anyone who has been downtown and tried to park there knows it is impossible. This means that now, for sure, anyone who gets there first will be there all day. Previously spaces opened up due to people running out of change and leaving or people getting towed. This would also be a good method of topping up at the various Impark parking lots in Calgary and Edmonton. I almost always underestimate the time I need, I think everyone does.

Of course, Impark won't do this since it makes more money giving tickets than selling parking space. They are vultures! The ticket is already written up by the time you have 1-minute left, just in case.

The article explains this is the first major city in North America to do this. Not to mention this is in CANADA. I think you have Canada confused with the United States with your comment.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614288)

You may want to brush up on your geography - Vancouver is in Canada, the country known for being the world's peacekeeper (peacekeeping forces being the brainchild of PM Pearson). It will also be hosting the next winter olympics.

You may be thinking of Vancouver, WA, located in the USA. S'ok, though.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614343)

Maybe if you didn't spend so much time playing at being the world's policeman you wouldn't have to play catch up so often.

Hmmm.... national stock market down more than 25% since May, budget deficit 10% that of your GDP, red ink @ 9% of your economy?

I give it a year, 18 months tops, before your country is begging the "world's policeman" for monetary support.

Sounds Familiar (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614071)

In Africa, they're using cellphones for personal [publicradio.org] banking [usatoday.com] , which is a pretty good way to move money without the hassle of checks an credit cards. I'm not sure I like this 30 cent fee, given that most parking isn't all that expensive.

Oh really? (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614077)

I would rather be rid of scum charging me with a phone call.

Scare quotes (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614091)

Why the scare quotes [wikipedia.org] around convenience fees? Is the submitter implying that the cell phone company should graciously provide this service for free? Or perhaps the fee isn't really a fee?

Either way, editorializing in the summary is silly.

Re:Scare quotes (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614128)

That it's not really convenience or such, I believe.

Re:Scare quotes (4, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614238)

being able to put more time on your parking meter without running out to the curb in the rain sounds pretty fucking convenient to me. I pay a fee for convenience. Therefore it is a convenience fee. I don't see how this is confusing for anyone.

Its a convenience for the city (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614254)

Emptying parking meters is a pretty albor intenstive task, and in big cities they must hold a lot of cash. When i lived in Edinburgh it cost me about $18/day to park in front of my apartment and that was several times less than parking in the city center.

I'd imagine parking meters are prime targets for drug users and petty theives and i've seen quite a lot of vandalized ones.

However, they wrap this up as being convenient for the end user (which it is too) and have the user pay the convenience fee.

GREAT (1)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614115)

I think it's great because lot's of people pay for longer parking at higher rate because they cant have more than 2 hours in a park meter.

I know i would like it to only have to use my cellphone siting on my ass somewhere and just feed my meter.

Re:GREAT (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614285)

I was recently driving into Boston for dinner, meeting people at the restaurant at 6pm. The meters are 2 hour max until 8pm, after which they are free. I got there at about 5pm. So instead of being able to be early for my dinner arrangement, I had to make sure I got back to the meter at the stroke of 6pm to feed 2 hours worth of quarters in to make sure it would last until 8pm, and thus last for as late as I needed. If I could have fed that meter via cellphone, I could have done it from right outside the restaurant very easily.

Now this does go against the point of the metered parking, which is temporary, 2 hour maximum...but the fact that it is free after 8pm is something that a parking garage can't offer. 2 hours at a meter is also significantly cheaper than 2 hours in a garage, so it's better any way you slice it (plus the garages here are all very-low-clearance, and I don't fit)

Meter stuffingt = bad (4, Informative)

dotmax (642602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614116)

In a lot of [U.S.] cities, running out to stuff another wad of quarters in the meter will get you a ticket, the concept being that metered parking is temporary parking. Curbside metered parking is designed for people who are going to get-in/get-out. If you're going to be somewhere all day you should either be using a parking garage or alternate transportation. In theory.

This scheme seems like a bullshit technological antisolution that would only make the current street parking situation worse,

Re:Meter stuffingt = bad (2, Insightful)

Ocular Magic (948250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614330)

If it was strictly for get in/out quickly, wouldn't they just paint the curb green with a "XX minute parking" label on it?

Uh huh. Except... (4, Insightful)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614131)

1) It bills to your credit card
2) I don't have a credit card
3) I don't like The Man tracking my activities, right down to where and when I park

Just a thought.

Fffft, old news (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614144)

We in the old world have been having this system for about 2 years now.

Without convenience fee.

would never work in nyc (0, Flamebait)

pretygrrl (465212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614149)

seeing as how tickets have become a major source of NYC's revenue, under billionaire Bloomberg's helm. Funny how NYC local politics are still just that -- local politics, even though we are bigger in size and tax revenue than many of the world's nations.
the city has become ridiculously dependent on parking tickets - at a $110 a pop, with $20 increases every three weeks for late payments, im suprised meter maids aren't murdered in the street by rioting mobs!
some truly amazing things have been happening, like people running out to meters w. a minute to spare to see the meter maid w. the ticket prepared already, just waiting for clock to chime! amazing.
all in all, brilliantly simple. whether or not this system gets adopted i guess depends on what a city's objectives are w. regard to parking meters. If, as in the case of NYC, they are largely traps for motorists, then I don't see this getting much use.

Re:would never work in nyc (FUD a bit) (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614324)

at a $110 a pop, with $20 increases every three weeks for late payments, im suprised meter maids aren't murdered in the street by rioting mobs!
Where are you getting $110 from? Last ticket I paid (mailed the check out today) was $65. Different parking violations have different fees -- parking in front of a hydrant or in a handicapped spot certainly deserves a higher fine.

And as for late payment charges -- you shouldn't even include those, moron who don't pay or file a dispute on time have no one to blame but themselves.

Re:would never work in nyc (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614331)

seeing as how tickets have become a major source of NYC's revenue, under billionaire Bloomberg's helm. Funny how NYC local politics are still just that -- local politics, even though we are bigger in size and tax revenue than many of the world's nations.
the city has become ridiculously dependent on parking tickets - at a $110 a pop, with $20 increases every three weeks for late payments, im suprised meter maids aren't murdered in the street by rioting mobs!

I don't think this is just a Bloomberg problem, much as I hate him and Giuliani. I remember my parents complaining about the same thing in the 80s when *they* worked in NYC. Simple solution for me: don't drive a car in NYC unless I really have to. If I need motorized transportation, take my motorcycle, remove the plate and chain it up in a convenient spot whilst parking. Fortunately the meter maids are lazy and stupid as well as greedy, so I don't think they'd spare the effort to tow it or trace the VIN unless it's parked somewhere for an unreasonable length of time.

-b.

Estonia started doing this three years ago... (2, Interesting)

Osrin (599427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614154)

http://www.usj.com.my/usjXpress/details.php3?table =usjXpress&ID=256 [usj.com.my]

I travel there on business from time to time, folks that I work with there have been doing something like this using SMS for a while now.

It is good to see the US catching up.

Re:Estonia started doing this three years ago... (1)

blibbler (15793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614342)

uhh... from the summary: "Vancouver, Canada"
Canada is still a separate country from the US. Which is to say: the US isn't catching up.

What's good about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614162)

I see two points to parking meters:

1. To stop somebody from taking up the space for every, and allow other people to park there
2. To generate revenue for the town

Effectiveness of meters is debatable, but doesn't this work against both points? It's not like the town no longer has to hire parking enforcement --- they just have to share some of the revenue!

I'd be curious to see the financial details after this gets going ...

instead of cellphone... (1)

haroldag (962342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614163)

I personally don't have a car, but I've heard people complaint about not having enough change. It's a pain in the arse. Why they haven't implemented a credit card system? Beats me! Imagine the scenario: 1. Park your car. 2. Swipe your card. 3. Enter a pin code (make it hard to guess) 4. Go do your thing, forget about the meter. 5. Come back to meter and enter code from step 3. 6. Get reciept printed out of meter. 7. Drive away without a parking ticket. Unless you are a moron and entered "9999" as your code, this could work.

Tune for the day (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614172)

Tune is "Call Me" by Blondie

Covering this area, baby
Coveting your car
Meter maids a' comin' darling
I know who you are
Come up off your attitude
I target Benzs, M5s, and Suburus

Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me add another dime
Call me (call me) oh, fudge!
Help prevent the boot or ticket stub
Call me

Cover me with birdshit, baby
Cover me with smudge
Rolled into by shopping carts
I've really had enough
Scratches, I really don't know why
Drive me over to Earl Scheib

Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) oh fudge
When you're ready we can call in a dime
Call me

Been around a while (2, Insightful)

KavyBoy (35619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614193)

Wellington, NZ implemented this a while back [wellington.govt.nz] . I knew one of the IT guys involved. They were happy to get paid for doing the work, but they were sure it wouldn't be a success. After all, who would pay extra for this? Much to his surprise, it's been very successful.

We have that in England :) (3, Informative)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614197)

Verrus operate a similar system at the council car parks in York, England. It's great - finding the change was always a pain!

They get the number of your cell phone from caller ID and store your vehicle registration plate and credit card details against it the first time you call. The next time you call you just tell it how many hours you want and enter the 4 digit code for the car park you are using. For an extra 10p you can get a reminder SMS. You are also free to call again and extend the parking.

If you don't have your cell phone with you then you can use any phone, and just tap in your cell number and the PIN number you set the first time you called. You also use that PIN if you want to change credit card or vehicle registration numbers.

The wardens have machines that have details of the electronically issued tickets on them, so they don't clamp you :)

So long, and thanks for the free parking... (2, Interesting)

dwandy (907337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614242)

All my calls come from (202) 456-1414 [securityfocus.com]

It's about the money (4, Insightful)

ezratrumpet (937206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614245)

The Man probably doesn't care about temporary parking vs. garage parking. If anything, the Man will encourage more use of temporary (aka parking meter) parking. Meters, when in use, make more money than parking garages. If the Man can keep the metered spaces full, it means more money for governmental projects.

Not coming to the US anytime soon (1)

jay2003 (668095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614262)

Since the citizenery of the US doesn't like to pay adequate taxes for the services they demand, US cities are forced to get their revenue from really irrating sources like parking tickets. Cities like San Francisco don't actually want you put money in the meter since that deprives them of the oppurtunity for "revenue enchancement." This is why they make it diffcult to use the meter through tactics like quarters only and not fixing broken meters.

Nothing new! (1)

Nitra (649930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614270)

Montreal has been doing this for 2 years now.

Quasi-alarming corporate/government programs. (1)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614284)

While I'm far from an anti-tech alarmist... it seems like another handing over of your personal information to the government, which ultimately ends up in the hands of private companies... all in the name of "convenience."

While Canadian law is much different than US law... it's somewhat alarming that EZ-Pass http://www.ezpass.com/ [ezpass.com] information is being used against people in court.

It's also going to be funny receiving a text that says: "Your car has been towed! $250 has been removed from your account. Your car has been towed to your home. Would you like us to call a taxi for you?"

I have a better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15614336)

I have a better idea.

Fuck parking meters.

The government nickels and dimes everybody enough as it is.

Blow them up with pipe bombs.

Hands in your pocket... (1)

anothergene (336420) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614337)

Less Pocket change... 1 step forward.
Convience charge... 2 steps back.

Let's all play fuck the consumer.

Good for students... (1)

vistic (556838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614352)

This would be especially nice for students at the University here... where the Tues/Thurs classes are usually about an hour and a half long, but the parking meters only let you put in a maximum of 1 hour's worth of coins. And summer session classes can be even longer.

Would much rather send a text message on my cellphone from in class, and pay a 30 cent convenience charge than have a ticket.

Then again, I'm sure the University would never adopt these meters... I think they limit the time on purpose so they can rake in more money from tickets.

Catching up to Europe (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614356)

Woohoo - North America is proving to lead the high-tech way again. Give it another 5 years and we may be able to buy a Coke at a vending machine and pay by cell phone. Follow us Europe, we are right behind you... ;)

Been Done (1)

ez151 (835695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614359)

Coral Gables, Fl has been doing this for about a year already. Very convienent when I go bar-hopping. Oh, wait. This /. I mean war-driving and mooching wi-fi....yeah right.

Caller ID?? (1)

mattmacf (901678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614375)

Pleease don't tell me they plan on using Caller ID [spoofcard.com] as a secure method of verification. Funny enough, TFA doesn't mention caller id at all, but I'd hope that something slightly more secure is actually implemented.

Assistance Required (5, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15614395)

...feed their parking meters with their cell phone
I'd like to try this, but I can't seem to fit my phone into the coin slot. Maybe if I bought a Razr?
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