Posting in Cities
No more coin-op parking meters! Calgary's smart street parking system allows users to pay for parking by cash, card, or cell phone.
Tired of fishing for quarters for the parking meter? The city of Calgary, in Canada, has developed a clever system that other cities would do well to emulate. Its ParkPlus system allows users to pay for parking by cash, card, or even cell phone.
Solar-powered ParkPlus machines are located on each block. Users find an available parking spot, and enter the zone code identifying their parking space and their license plate number into the machine. They select the amount of time they plan to stay, and can pay by cash or credit card. To see how the system works, you can watch the information video at the ParkPlus website.
Frequent users can set up a ParkPlus account and use only their cell phones to pay for their parking space. GPS-equipped cars replace police officers and patrol the streets, monitoring the parking status of the cars.
If their parking session is almost up, users get an automated phone call telling them so. And if they leave before their session is over, they can call and end their session, so they will only be charged for the time they were parked.
Who knew parking could be this simple? Smart systems like Calgary's are a great example of how to simplify an otherwise irritating bit of city living, and hopefully other cities will catch on and implement similar schemes.
Has your city implemented a smart transportation system that makes life easier for its residents? Let me know!
Photo: Ed Hemmes, Jeff Kramer
Mar 26, 2012
All it means it that instead of paying with coins, the city now has a credit car record of everywhere I park, and when, and for how long. Big Brother is watching.
Why not simply allow a user to log in when parking and log out when leaving? This would avoid having to estimate how long you may be parked and possibly running out of time.
It's hugely entertaining watching citizens and visitors standing around in awestruck wonder and confusion trying to figure out how these things work. All instruction is carefully prepared by the same firm in Taiwan that writes the manuals for those $10 devices found at your local computer store. Wild overpayment is the usual result. Particularly good fun at -3C or so with a nice freezing rain coating the surfaces.