Effective August 12, parking meters Downtown will be replaced by Pay and Display. That’s when the meters will come out and the already installed Pay and Display machines will be in operation (see the locations below) with the exception of accessible parking meters. The change is needed to reduce costs, reduce the amount of maintenance, allow credit card payment (without using HonkMobile) and more. Similar machines are already in use on the waterfront (see photo below) and they are ubiquitous in other municipalities. The low rate of $1 per hour will continue although this rate is only for downtown. The rate on the waterfront is $2 per hour although that only applies in the summer (Victoria Day to Thanksgiving weekends).
- King Street West between Spring Street and Division Street (north and south sides)
- King Street East between Division and McGill St (north and south sides)
- Third Street, south of Albert Street (east side) – photo below, waiting to be unwrapped.
- Other locations such as McGill south of Queen St will lose meters too.
It has not been explained (yet) why “accessible” parking meters will stay. Maybe the Pay & Display machines are not accessible? This note will be updated once the Town provides an answer.
One of the photos below shows a Pay and Display machine currently in use at the West end of the Esplanade. There are several similar machines on King Street waiting to be put into service.
The Town’s announcement said:
The existing coin-operated parking meters along King Street are aging and require a lot of maintenance and staff time to empty, sort and count the coins. During the summer season the parking meters fill up at a quicker rate than they can be emptied by staff, which can take up to four hours to empty. By switching to Pay-and-Display machines, the Town will be able to:
- Reduce risk of vandalism, theft of fares, damage and snow removal costs.
- Ease staff time and resources required to empty the machines.
- Minimize maintenance requirements and costs.
- Modernize payment methods by offering a credit card option.
- Have replacement parts readily available to make repairs.
- Improve aesthetic for the downtown area by reducing the number of machines.
HonkMobile will continue to be available although it’s not clear how popular or useful it is. It seemed like a good idea but only if it works well for users – not everyone finds it easy to use.