Los Angeles unveils credit card-friendly parking meters

08:21, May 06, 2010      

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The city of Los Angeles has announced on Wednesday to replace 10,000 coin-operated meters with their smart counterparts, making it possible for motorists to pay using credit and debit cards.

Termed "Coin and Card," the Transportation Department plans to install these high-tech machines in high-traffic areas by July 1. Officials estimate that the new meters will bring in an additional 1 million to 1.5 million U.S. dollars in revenue each year, roughly a half of the city's annual parking meter revenue.

"Instead of carrying a bagful of quarters to feed the meter, drivers will now be able to pay quickly and conveniently with a credit card," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a press conference held earlier in the morning.

The upgraded parking meters will charge the same rate as the old ones, and accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Revenue from parking meters has increased nearly 40 percent in areas where the new parking systems have been installed, the officials said.

When all of the "Coin and Card" meters are in place, the city will have upgraded 37 percent of its 40,000 meters, according to the mayor's office.

The new meters don't break as often as their coin-operated counterparts -- one of the common problems plaguing the old system, according to officials. Five hundreds of the upgraded meters are already on-line as part of a pilot program.



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