Share This Page

City Council suggests electronic cards for new parking meters

| Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 11:08 a.m.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority will consider a request from City Council to offer electronic cards for use at nearly 600 multi-space meters, the authority's executive director said on Tuesday.

Councilman Corey O'Connor, who suggested the idea, said the authority could bill customers monthly or allow them to put value on the cards in advance, either online or at its offices.

“We'll explore the possibilities,” authority Executive Director David Onorato said. “We're always looking to expand on the technology.”

The authority's board last month authorized Onorato to seek bids from companies to develop a program that would allow motorists to pay for on-street parking via cellphone. The board approved spending $35,000 on technology for an online system of reserving spaces in Downtown parking garages.

About 94 percent of residents surveyed last year indicated they were satisfied with the city's new meters, which take credit cards and coins, but O'Connor said council continues to receive complaints. He said the cards could be a “user-friendly” way to pay for parking. The authority installed 557 meters for street parking in Oakland, Bloomfield, Downtown, the Strip District, North Shore and South Side. Others are in surface parking lots.

O'Connor said the meters can be programmed to accept prepaid cards, but Onorato said he would have to confirm that with the manufacturer. The meters require motorists to enter a license plate number, and O'Connor said the cards could automatically provide that information.

“I like this idea,” said Councilman Bruce Kraus, who represents the South Side, where parking is at a premium. “This can go on your key chain, and you just swipe it and punch in your time.”

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.