Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Money grab

Now that we've got this car, I've used it a couple of times to go downtown. And though some areas have the old style insert-the-coin parking meters, the downtown core has had them largely replaced by pay kiosks located on each block.august%20086.jpg There have been a couple of surprises with this new method. One good and one bad. First the bad. When I stopped to make a deposit at the bank, I paid for 15 minutes at the kiosk and went inside. Seeing that the line was very long, I decided I might need thirty minutes and returned to the kiosk to pay another dollar. But when I looked at my ticket, I realized I had just paid for the same 15 minutes again! Sure enough right on the kiosk it says "Each transaction is handled separately from previous ones". (Imagine if this was the case with the old style meters - that each time you added money, it started again from zero!)


So the lesson here is do not add money to the meter until the time has nearly expired, otherwise, you'll pay twice for the same minutes. Now the good. august%20087.jpgWhile enjoying a visit from friends down in the old port, we were enjoying some lovely beer on a terrace some distance from where I had parked. Since we lolligagged longer than planned, it was necessary to add time to the kiosk. The good news? It's not necessary to find the kiosk nearest your parked vehicle, you can key in your parking space at any kiosk in the general area. There happened to be one just outside the place where we were enjoying our brew. Perfect, add another couple dollars and no worries. But still, it's wise to remember to wait until your original time has expired.

16 comments:

Lemuel said...

I knew of old style parking meters in some towns here in the northeast that acted something like that. If your got a half hour for a quarter and your meter was down to 5 minutes, when you added a quarter the meter would only go up to 30 minutes, not 35. You lost the 5 minutes you had left.

Dantallion said...

Thise kiosques are a flagrant money grab - and it amazes me that the city is allowed to get away with that. You pay for a service, and you should get the full value of that service.

Ed said...

Go to the mall or Walmart, free parking. Here the enforcment of parking laws comes and goes. Case in point: I pulled into a parking lot downtown lined with meters. It was on a Saturday. Rita the meter maid was issuing tickets. Of course I started to put money in the meter. Rita smiled at me and said I'm finished for the day don't put anything in the meter. I said thanks and left. Fast forward to next Saturday at about the same time. I figured Rita had come and gone for the day. You guessed it, when I returned a ticket was waiting for me.

David said...

Not sure I understand how this works.

Mark in DE said...

Last year the 'old school' parking meters in nearby Rehoboth Beach were replaced by the new kiosk type, although they function a little differently. You must feed the kiosk nearest to your car or else you'll kindly be paying for someone else's parking.

What I don't care for about the new meters is that there's no way to know if there's any time left on them. In the past I've found 30 minutes on a meter and decided to only add 60 more minutes. Now, there's no way to know that the last person has already paid for that 30 minutes, so the city is able to 'double charge' many times every day.

Before the car, how did you get around when walking wasn't a good option?

Mark

em said...

This seems stupid, but I'm completely outraged that the city is getting double the money on those meters. You know that nice feeling when you find extra money on the meter? Apparently there's one less nice feeling to experience now.

Snooze said...

ah, the joys of parking. What I hate in Toronto is that sometimes the rates are much lower after 9pm. So, if you arrive at a kiosk at 8:50, you can only pay up until the end of that rate period. I end up lurking around for 10 minutes. so annoying.

Jason said...

Oh, I saw a news segment the other day (CTV? CBC?) about your green parking meters for the poor.

Cool.

Craig said...

The last time I used a regular meter, I put almost $5 worth of quarters in (an all day thing) and it suddenly went back to zero. So, I not only lost my $, but because I has used up my quarters, I had to find somewhere else to park.

Patricia said...

oh how i hate parking meters. i will circle endlessly or walk endlessly to avoid them, if i can. however, the idea of being able to add time to a metter from any other meter is kinda cool. in a still-evil sort of way.

GayProf said...

I never seem to use the kiosk meters quite right. Maybe I am just too accustomed to the old style.

dawn said...

So wait. How does the parking meter devil guy know who to give tickets to? Does he have to stop and go up to the kiosk and ask it?

I hate parking meter devil guys.

Rebekah said...

The only places in our town like that are at the University. Problem is, it's a minimum of $2.00 no matter how long you're going to be.

You know, like picking up tickets for a show or something?

Gah.

Normlr said...

If I'm not mistaken, it is technically illegal to park in a metered spot that already has time in it. You are required to put money in regardless. Now they are just enforcing the rules.

Too damn expensive - and the rates in Toronto just keep going up and up. How does $3.00 an hour sound?

sue said...

I hate Montreal's new meters with the penny-pinching "reset to zero" system. And, up to $4 per hour is just outrageous. If there is somebody hovering to take my park when I exit a space and I have meter time left I make a point of handing my receipt over to the driver as token "Up Yours!" to the city. I just hope we see some real improvement to the STM with the revenue generated by these mechanised bandits!

My two cents
(which equals approximately 24 seconds of parking in Montreal)

JP said...

You know you can screw someone with that system with 25c?
If a guy pays for 2 hours. If you put 25c after him (for his number), he loose all its time left, and get just 25c of new parking time...

If you hate someone and know where he parks (and pay), you can screw him all the time. He has no way to know it too, especially with coins.
Before, you could screw the parking maid recharging meters with 25c as she was coming along. Now, you screw the car owner.


In fact, there very well could be that the previous owner left you a lot of time (no way to know). If you put just 25c for a couple of minutes, it's pretty likely that you may have lost some time...