The words “parking meter” evokes images of the gray metal meters you slip quarters into and turn a dial. Those are the meters of yesterday. Today’s parking meter manufacturers are constantly innovating and redesigning the classic systems to deliver increased control and accountability.
New Kinds of Parking Meters
One new kind of meter is the digital meter designed for large surface lots. A large surface lot is between thirty to three hundred parking spaces. These digital devices usually accept coins, bills, or credit/debit cards. These are most useful for paved lots in urban and suburban applications. They are not as versatile as other models.
More versatile models that are also slightly more expensive offer customizable forms of payment such as park passes and transit tickets. These devices are intended for on and off street applications. They are perfect for rural areas, national, state, and local parks that might have their own unique forms of access.
Even more adaptable than those models are the ones that allow for complex pay structures. These parking management systems are the most expensive due to the amount of different kinds of payments they accept. The highest-priced systems are perfect for on and off street applications such as parks, but they are also applicable for university campuses. They accept transit passes, park passes, student IDs, and charges to student accounts.
How to Manage These Machines
The complex ways parking meter manufacturers deliver their services to their customers can foster difficulty keeping track of the many systems. These machines are digital, internet-capable devices capable of being tracked in real time. Manufacturers provide web-based programs that allow for monitoring of pay stations, remote access and control, and configuration. Also, the proprietor can generate reports of the machines’ status, revenue collection, and reconciliation. The amount of control and monitoring is light-years ahead of the old metal devices.
Since many customers will have their first experience with the new management systems when they buy their first one, the manufacturers offer training in setting up, maintaining, and repairing the systems.
How They Are Made
Skilled technicians assemble the devices and send them to be programmed. The machines are programmed just like any computer. The technicians test them to make sure that they are operating properly.
What to Do if They Malfunction
Due to the digital, web-based nature of the new machines, sometimes they malfunction. However, support is available for any issue that might arise. As the meters are internet-capable, the companies can access and troubleshoot remotely. Technical support is available by web or over the phone. Warranties are also available which, for a price, will cover the cost of returning and replacing a malfunctioning device.