Smart parking meters could be in Philly’s future

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 A motorist feeds a parking meter in Philadelphia in this 2009 photo. The city has since installed multi-space kiosks where drivers can pay electronically, but these old vestiges still linger in some neighborhoods. The Parking Authority is now looking into a new round of high-tech parking meters. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

A motorist feeds a parking meter in Philadelphia in this 2009 photo. The city has since installed multi-space kiosks where drivers can pay electronically, but these old vestiges still linger in some neighborhoods. The Parking Authority is now looking into a new round of high-tech parking meters. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is thinking about going high tech when it comes to parking meters.

As the PPA is phasing out its smart cards. it’s considering more modern options for feeding the parking meter, said Vince Fenerty, authority executive director.

“We’re looking possibly at smart meters, which take credit cards. There’s a lot of hidden costs to that like using a wi-fi network and the Internet that we may want to avoid using,” he said. “We’re also looking at pay by cellphone.”

Being a bit late to the party could benefit Philadelphia, Fenerty said, because it’s learning from the experience of other cities. The PPA also is figuring out which parts work well inside Philly’s parking kiosks, such as the slots that accept paper money.

“I believe we have been through at least four types of bill acceptors that were under warranty, and they are better than they were three years ago,” he said.

Fenerty admits some of those bill acceptors still are a bit finicky.

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