The pay stations are single terminals that allow drivers to use coins, cash or cards to pay for on-street parking. They cost $7,000 to $11,000 each—nine to fourteen times what a regular parking meter costs. The three stations currently on Muhammad Ali Boulevard are part of a 90-day pilot program to determine whether the machines are a viable replacement for parking meters.
“We’re looking at a couple different things: the function of equipment during the weather duration we’re going into; the ease of citizens being able to use it on the street; the flexibility it gives us for the different payment options additional to what we have currently now,” says Gerald Howell with PARC.
Howell says other cities have seen increases in parking fees collected with the terminals, since they provide more ways to pay. However, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace all the meters on a block. Howell says it likely won’t be cost-effective to replace all meters.