Park­ing to the fu­ture

New park­ing kiosk at city lot

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - COMING UP - MICHAEL JOEL-HANSEN

The city has taken a first step into mod­ern paid park­ing.

Peo­ple park­ing at the city-owned lot west of city hall will pay at a com­put­er­ized kiosk, as op­posed to a park­ing me­ter. Man­ager of tran­sit and fleet for the city Mark Sture be­lieves the new tech­nol­ogy will im­prove ef­fi­ciency.

“It’s an eas­ier way of pro­vid­ing for park­ing within the lot,” he said.

The new sys­tem was sup­posed to be up and go­ing by Fri­day morn­ing, but a time­clock is­sue pre­vented it from go­ing on­line as planned. The city said the new sys­tem would be up and run­ning by Mon­day.

The rea­son for in­stalling the pay sta­tion goes beyond bring­ing in new tech­nol­ogy. Ac­cord­ing to Sture, the kiosk cost a to­tal of $15,000 to buy and in­stall.

On the other hand, in­stalling in­di­vid­ual me­ters at the lot with the abil­ity to take credit cards would have cost $80,000. Right now, peo­ple can pay at some of the city’s park­ing me­ters with a pre-paid card that they can pick up at city hall. The new sys­tem will also al­low peo­ple to pay to park for a max­i­mum five hours in­stead of the usual two hours. But those who are look­ing to pay by credit card at the new pay sta­tion will have to wait to do so un­til some­time in the new year.

“At this point we’re only ac­cept­ing coin, we still need to get some of the back-end stuff done so we can ac­cept the credit cards,” Sture said.

The kiosk has the abil­ity to ac­cept credit cards, but the city needs to do some work on their end. Peo­ple will also have to wait be­fore see­ing this sys­tem brought in to re­place me­ters for street park­ing.

“We want to get this first ma­chine up and run­ning, then we are look­ing at ex­pand­ing to other park­ing lots in the city, where we cur­rently have park­ing me­ters,” Sture said.

For those who may be con­cerned about po­ten­tial se­cu­rity is­sues, Sture said they are con­fi­dent in the se­cu­rity of the ma­chine. The tech­nol­ogy is not new and has been proven in many other cities.

Be­sides mak­ing it eas­ier for res­i­dents to pay for park­ing, the city is also hop­ing the new sys­tem will make it eas­ier for the peo­ple charged with en­force­ment; mo­torists will be asked to punch in their li­cence plate num­ber. They will then get a re­ceipt, which should be put on the dash­board of their ve­hi­cle so that park­ing en­force­ment of­fi­cers can see it. In the fu­ture though, this may not be nec­es­sary.

“In the fu­ture there won’t be need for that be­cause the in­for­ma­tion in the park­ing pay sta­tion will go di­rectly to the en­force­ment of­fi­cers … through their elec­tronic de­vices,” he said.

Over­all, Sture be­lieves the de­ci­sion to bring in this new sys­tem is a good one.

“It’s a pos­i­tive step for­ward for the com­mut­ing pub­lic,” he said.

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