Vancouver has inspired me. The first one hit not even thirty minutes after we set foot on Canadian soil. We were starving, and so stopped off for some brunch before embarking on our list of adventures. We parallel park the car (well Chris does) and get out to pay the meter before looking at each other and realizing we do not have any Canadian change. Crap, what are we going to do? I say maybe we can ask the restaurant to give us some change and they can then charge it to our bill. We stand there for a bit and wonder if that is going to work.
Then we realize that the meter says pay by phone. Huh. How does that work? I have to pee though, so I leave Chris to get us a table and relieve myself of hours of sips of sparkling water. I find us a table, and wait for Chris to join me. When he comes in to meet me he states that all you have to do is create an account over the phone, give them your credit card and the number of the meter, and enter the amount of time you want to charge to your card.
Brilliant. Really, why do more cities not handle parking in this way? We find out later that once you have set up your account, then subsequent times you park, you just call the number and enter the meter number. It will recognize you by your phone number. I think of how many times I have stood in the pouring rain in Portland and would have gladly gone to the meter taken note of the meter number and then found my way to a dry spot to feed my meter.
The plot thickens and only gets better.
Yes. After ingesting eggs and coffee, Chris received a text message alerting him that his meter was about to expire and he could call or go to their website to add more time to his meter. That is service! To know that I would not have to go back to my car to put more time on the meter. I could stay at the salon, show, store, wherever I was and pull out my phone to pay for more time. I wonder what I have to do to get Portland on board with this clever way to pay for parking.
Does anyone know of any other cities that have this type of parking system?
This isn’t quite the same thing, but I have found that countries in the Asia-Pacific region are very technologically advanced, environment friendly, and consumer focused.
When visiting Singapore on business, all the escalators stopped moving after a period of inactivity. A sensor activated it once again when needed.
And, when entering a multilevel parking garage, there was a display at each level detailing the exact number of parking spots that were left available. We could learn a lot in North America from these practices, that’s for sure 😉
That is so cool about the escalators in Singapore. Think of all the things that we should do that to. I have seen the parking garage notification in big cities in the US. Thank you for sharing.
The newer meters in the Bay Area have this. Super handy!
YAY! Such an intuitive, customer friendly way to do it.